Gantz Thwarts Netanyahu Outpost Move

A press conference at the protest tent of Yesha Council and Young Settlements Forum demanding the government to legalize outposts in Yehuda and Shomron, outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz blocked a move by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ to legalize Israeli outposts in Yehuda and Shomron, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Netanyahu’s proposal to legalize some of the 46 outposts met with opposition from Gantz, who said that “in the cabinet meeting, no diplomatically irresponsible proposal will be raised at such a sensitive time.”

Gantz, whose agreement is needed to advance the measure, had it struck from the agenda.

At issue was recognition of the communities of Avigayil, Asael, Kedem Arava, Metzoke Deragot, and Ovnat (currently considered a neighborhood of Mitzpeh Shalem) and Tel Tzion, which are deemed illegal under current Israeli law, according to ministers in Gantz’s Blue and White party.

Community Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi has already drafted the necessary legislative text, ready for a vote.

The cabinet confrontation was played out against the background of a protest camp outside the Prime Minister’s Office and a hunger strike of leaders and activists in Yehuda and Shomron.