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Court to State: Legalize 'Outpost' Now, Compensate Residents

Tel Aviv Magistrates Court orders state to pay residents of Rechelim NIS 15,000 each, draw up zoning plan.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/22/2011, 11:33 AM

Rechelim
Rechelim
Flash 90

In a landmark decision with important political ramifications, the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court has accepted the legality of a community that the state currently defines as an "illegal outpost". 

The court ordered the state to grant NIS 15,000 each to residents of Rechelim in Samaria (Shomron) in compensation for violating its contractual obligations to them, and to take action to approve the community's zoning plan.

Four families from Rechelim sued the state last year and demanded that it act to fulfill its side of the sales contract for their homes, namely – to complete the zoning plan. They also demanded compensation for violation of the contracts. 

Judge Yishai Koren instructed the state to pay the sum demanded – NIS 15,000 to each of the plaintiffs – and ordered the state to act "with diligence and vigor, and to do all that is permissible by law to legalize the sale of the homes it sold the plaintiffs, and to bring about the granting of zoning permits for these homes."

The state is to report to the court in 60 days' time – and every 90 days henceforward – about the actions it has taken to legalize the homes.

"One must read the arguments in this case in order to believe that the state itself… could defend itself by saying that the plaintiffs signed contracts in which they recognized faults that existed in the houses… Nothing is left of the state's defense, and it would have been better if this embarrassing affair had never reached the court's doorstep."