Israel orders three settler buildings destroyed
* From correspondents in Jerusalem
* From: AFP
* June 12, 2011 10:51PM
ISRAELI Defence Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the country's
forces to demolish three buildings in a wildcat West Bank
settlement outpost within 45 days.
The move comes after the state told a court on Friday it would
remove the buildings, which are part of the Migron settlement
outpost in the northern West Bank, but are built on private
Palestinian land, the Haaretz daily reported.
Mr Barak's office confirmed the report.
"The position of the Defence Minister, in accord with the Prime
Minister, is that illegal construction on private Palestinian land
must be prevented and such building will be destroyed," his office
"This obviously applies to Migron too."
The Israeli Government has said it is committed to removing
settlements on private Palestinian land, but the Palestinians and
much of the international community consider all settlements built
in the West Bank to be illegal.
Israel only considers those settlements built without government
approval to be illegal, and of that category has said it will
remove only buildings that are on private Palestinian land.
Israeli human rights group Yesh Din has filed a series of
petitions on behalf of Palestinians seeking to force the Israeli
Government to remove outposts they claim stand on their private
Under the 2003 international "roadmap" peace plan, Israel pledged
to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001 and a government
commission later determined there were 26 such wildcat settlements
in the West Bank.
Watchdog groups number dozens of such unauthorised outposts.
Successive prime ministers have made commitments to remove them
but, despite strong US pressure, they have not been dismantled.
The Government has been seeking to differentiate between outposts
built on private Palestinian land and others built on public land.
Palestinians claim all Israeli construction in the West Bank is in
violation of international law and the settlement issue has been a
main obstacle to a resumption of peace talks.