Khan al-Ahmar
Khan al-AhmarJerusalem Envelope Forum

The state is seeking a further 30-day postponement in order to complete its submission to the Supreme Court in the matter of the illegal Bedouin outpost of Khan al-Ahmar, following reports that sharp divisions have emerged within the government regarding the evacuation of the outpost.

The affidavit, signed by the head of the National Security Council, Eyal Hulta, claims that the new request is due to "the current circumstances in the world political arena, including the prime minister's involvement in the war in Europe."

The Regavim movement said in response to the latest request for a delay: "As far as we know, Prime Minister Bennett has already returned from his trip to Europe, and the additional rejection request smells like smearing. We will consider appealing to the Supreme Court for a ruling."

Two days ago, the State Attorney on Sunday evening filed a request for a 48-hour extension to give its response to the court on the matter of Khan al-Ahmar.

Last week, rumors began circulating that Defense Minister Benny Gantz is in favor of coming to a compromise whereby the outpost will be relocated just 300 meters away from his current position, and allocated land in Area C, which is supposed to remain in Israeli hands in any future partition of the country.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar has insisted that his position remains unchanged: Khan al-Ahmar is to be evacuated without any compromise arrangement. Ministers Avigdor Liberman, Ayelet Shaked, and Ze'ev Elkin, as well as the Prime Minister and other coalition officials have also expressed themselves firmly in favor of a similar position, emphatically rejecting the idea of a compromise along the lines of what Gantz is proposing.

This past September, the state's representative requested one more extension, this time for six months; that extension is due to run out on Sunday.

In the decision it handed down in September granting the half-year extension, the Supreme Court wrote that "the expectation is that at the end of [the six-month] period a clear decision will be presented to this Court, after all options have been explored and exhausted. The period of mapping out alternatives and exploring courses of action is about to run its course, and what follows is the decision stage. Our aim is to conclude the hearing of this petition immediately after the [government's updated statement] is submitted, and the plaintiff's response is received, one way or another."