Evyatar Deal Goes into Effect

YERUSHALAYIM -
Erecting a large Star of David at the Israeli outpost of Evyatar, before evacuation on Friday. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

Residents of Evyatar left their hilltop community on Friday under the term of a deal with the government that might allow them to return to their homes eventually.

The agreement averted the demolition of their homes, which had been ruled illegal but which now will be subject to an official review to finally determine its legal status. In the meantime, an army base will be installed on the site, where about 50 families had come to live, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Palestinians from the nearby villages of Beita and Yatma claim it belongs to them. But the Shomron Regional Council and the Nahala Movement dispute that claim and insist that it should be classified as state land.

In the event that the Civil Administration’s investigation concludes that the Evyatar hilltop qualifies as state land, a yeshiva will be established at the site. Plans to legalize the outpost as a section of the adjacent Kfar Tapuah and/or as an entirely new community will then be advanced.

“We left the mountain, but our hearts remain there,” said Evyatar resident Amichai Ben-David.