In a controversial decision by the current Israeli government, the illegal Bedouin village of Khan El-Ahmar will be evacuated and rebuilt 300 meters away – on state land. Right-wing elements blasted the outrageous decision to leave the illegal outpost in place for two different reasons.

Firstly, the government routinely demolishes illegal Jewish outposts and does not offer them the option of staying on state land nearby. Recently the illegal outpost of Evyatar was removed in return for a government promise that a yeshiva could be maintained at the strategic location – a promise which has yet to be fulfilled. The outposts at Chomesh and Kumi Ori suffered a similar fate, with the government refusing to compromise or find a solution for residents elsewhere.

Moreover the illegal outpost is situated in a hugely sensitive political region between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim. Israel has slated the region – known as E1 -for construction of a Jewish neighborhood which would connect Jerusalem to Maale Adumim and prevent the Palestinians from establishing a contiguous corridor from north to south on the east side of Jerusalem. Establishing a Palestinian village in the region is a tacit admission of Palestinian political aspirations for a future state stretching from Shechem to Hevron.

The hasty government decision is due to a 2018 High Court ruling that the illegal outpost must be evacuated, a decision which was delayed by the previous Netanyahu government and by the current government. A new ruling on the demolition is due March 6.

The right-wing pro-settlement Regavim group slammed the reported planned move as “delusional.” It had petitioned the court last year, asking it to force the government to remove the illegal village, following a decision that had been approved three years ago.

Head of the Religious Zionism Party MK Bezalel Smotrich in a tweet said the move would be “an unforgivable strategic Zionist [act of] foolishness.”

Right-wing opposition MKs Yoav Kisch of the Likud party and Religious Zionism MK Orit Struck also criticized the reported plan.

“This is a fake evacuation with highly dangerous repercussions,” they said in a joint statement. “The damage in legalizing Khan el-Ahmar is immense. The de facto meaning is that the State of Israel approves the Palestinian plan to take over this strategic area.”

Critics of the state’s handling of the affair say the demolition has been repeatedly pushed off to avoid an international incident as the village has gained public backing from human rights activists, pro-Palestinian groups, and the European Union.

The government has until March 6 to resolve the matter, the day a ruling is scheduled on the matter at the High Court.