Israel to Okay Illegal Outpost in West Bank

Israel to Okay Illegal Outpost in West BankIsrael to Okay Illegal Outpost in West Bank

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said ministers would grant formal authorization on Sunday to a rogue West Bank settlement in response to last month killing of a rabbi who lived there.

The announcement came amid heightened tensions after Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager during an arrest raid to capture the rabbi’s killers in the village of Burqin in the occupied West Bank, Middle East Eye reported.

“The government will today regularize the status of Havat Gilad to allow the continuance of normal life there,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, referring to the illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settlements are seen as illegal under international law and major obstacles to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state, but Israel differentiates between settlements it has approved and those it has not.

Those without approval are referred to as outposts and tend to be populated by hardline religious nationalists who see the entire West Bank as part of Israel.

The Israeli regime says its ministers will hear a motion to designate the 15-year-old outpost as a “new community” which will have the necessary building permits and a state budget.

Some 50 families live in the illegal outpost.

Palestinian officials condemned the move.

“Netanyahu is trying to make facts on ground. All settlements in the West Bank, including in Beit-ul-Moqaddas, are illegal,” said Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee.

In January, Rabbi Raziel Shevah was shot dead near Havat Gilad, an illegal Israeli settlement in the Nablus area.

The following week, Israeli troops searching for his attackers shot dead what they described as a Palestinian suspect in the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank, about 35km north of Havat Gilad.

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