Photo Credit: Sraya Diamant/Flash90
The people of the Evyatar outpost at a meeting, June 29, 2021.

A compromise deal on the outpost Evyatar was signed Wednesday night, despite detracting voices on the left and the right.

The left hates the new deal because it starts a slippery slope where the fate of an outpost will be based not on whether or not it was designed by a governmental committee, subject to years of construction freeze for political reasons, but simply on a survey to determine whether there are Arab claims on the land. If there aren’t, then the land can become the property of the state and a new Jewish town can be legalized.

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The right did not—still doesn’t—trust the deal because in Israel’s settlement history those deals were made to be broken, most notably with right-wing governments. So on the right, this comes down to a referendum on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s integrity.

Here are the basics of the new Evyatar compromise, which Cabinet Secretary Shalom Shlomo on Wednesday night signed, sealed, and delivered:

  • All the residents of the outpost will leave Evyatar independently by 4 PM Friday (Tomorrow)
  • The homes will not be demolished. They will remain in place, empty and locked
  • A military unit will be permanently stationed at the site, to guard against the hostile Arab neighbors
  • The state will verify as quickly as possible the legal status of the land
  • Once the land is regulated and its status is classified as state land, the demolition orders will be revoked
  • Once the status of the land has been settled, a yeshiva will be established in Evyatar under a special order that would expedite the approval process
  • Eventually, subject to the required government approvals, the state will approve a “permanent civic presence” in Evyatar, which is legalese for legal Israeli settlement in Area C.

Mind you, there are some 135 such outposts in Area C, some of them established decades ago, and the Evyatar precedence will be used to protect them against future demolition efforts which will come, make no mistake about it.

Shas chairman MK Aryeh Deri praised the coalition for signing the compromise. Deri was accused a few weeks ago of smuggling building materials to the outpost which helped make it a brick and mortar, rather than tent and raffia rug settlement. Deri tweeted: “I congratulate the government on the establishment of the settlement of Evyatar, I sincerely hope that this is the first settlement in the chain of settlement development.” That part was along the lines of the left’s nightmare scenario. Deri then took out the short knife and stuck it with a loving smile in the enemy’s gut: “More power to the coalition partners, to Mossi Raz (Meretz), to Abbas and the other MKs from Ra’am who sacrificed their ideology for the establishment of a settlement in the Land of Israel.”

I’ll bet they loved reading it…

Arab neighbors in Beta village protest the Evyatar outpost deal, June 30, 2021. / Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90

On Tuesday, PA Arabs appealed to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit demanding that he not approve the deal which was then being formulated. Attorney Sleiman Shahin from the Jerusalem Center for Human Rights wrote that the outline is illegal, infringes on the property rights of lo0cal Arabs, and constitutes a violation of the rule of law. He called for the evacuation of the outpost and the demolition of its infrastructure, noting that they attached proof of his supposed clients’ connection to the land.

Haaretz reported on Thursday that there used to be a military base in the Evyatar vicinity, and a land seizure order was issued to make its establishment legal. That order could be considered proof that there was someone from whom the land had to be seized, namely PA Arabs. There are contradictory aerial photographs regarding whether or not the land had been tilled over the past decade, which the survey makers would have to evaluate.

Below is a video recording of the head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan speaking to the Evyatar settlers in favor of approving the compromise deal.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.