Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed a Knesset vote on a bill geared at sanctioning illegal West Bank outposts on Wednesday, with the intent of reaching an arrangement that would evade the need to demolish illegally built homes.
The move came as Netanyahu continues to seek ways to avoid the forced evacuation of homes in the Beit-El neighborhood of Ulpana Hill, after the High Court of Justice ruled that the state had to demolish those structures by July 1.
Following that ruling, several top right-wing ministers urged Netanyahu to advance a High Court-bypassing bill that would allow the Knesset to sanction outposts built on private Palestinian land.
In addition, Habayit Hayehudi’s Zevulun Orlev and Likud’s Ze’ev Elkin said they would seek to pass a bill they initiated that could approve several illegal West Bank outposts, such as Ulpana Hill.
That bill was supposed to be brought to a vote in the Knesset on Wednesday, until Netanyahu convinced its sponsors to delay a decision by two weeks, at which time the government would try to find a solution that would both evade the need to demolish the homes and align with the High Court’s ruling.
The prime minister also ordered preparations made ahead of the planned demolition to be halted for the next two weeks.
According to the bill, Jewish residential neighborhood that had been built on land whose legal owners didn’t challenge the construction within four years, would not be evacuated.
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