Israel plans to "legalize" 69 Outposts in the West Bank

The Israeli government intends to “legalize” at least 69 settlement outposts on Palestinian land in the West Bank, in an effort led by the Likud party to draft the law with the Blue and White party.

The Israeli "Peace Now" movement said in a tweet on "Twitter" that the Blue and White party is moving with Likud to legalize a series of illegal outposts in the Palestinian territories, that is, the plunder of lands from the Palestinians.

She added, "The (Israeli) unity government, designed to get us out of the crisis, has become an annexation government, which leaves its citizens who live within the country's borders and salutes its criminals who live outside it," referring to settlers in the West Bank.

The outposts are small settlements, consisting of several caravans or homes made of bricks and tin, built by settlers on private Palestinian land in the West Bank, without the approval of the Israeli government.

The Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper said, on Thursday, that the Minister of Settlement Affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi, informed the Knesset (parliament) yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved the government vote on a law to legalize unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank.

"We will draft a government decision text with the aim of strengthening all legal measures that would lead to the organization of young settlements (outposts)," said Hangby.

"The decision came in response to the opinion of legal advisers who warned that there is a need for a government declaration to correct the intention to legitimize the outposts," he added.

The newspaper pointed out that Netanyahu "is under pressure from the right-wing parties to allow the outposts, especially in light of his failure to annex the West Bank settlements (to Israel)."

"Legalizing the outposts would expand Israel's presence in the West Bank, beyond the boundaries of the map drawn up by US President Donald Trump for a two-state solution to the conflict," she said.

"It is a step that is likely to be strongly condemned by the international community, and which the incoming Biden administration will oppose," she added.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted Hanegbi as saying that the preliminary list will include 69 outposts.

He pointed out that the process may take years, interspersed with objections by those affected to the Israeli Supreme Court.

According to Peace Now data, there are 124 random settlement outposts in the West Bank that were established in the 1990s, without the government's approval.

In contrast, there are 132 large settlements in the West Bank, established with the approval of the Israeli government.

Peace Now indicates that there are 661,000 settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which includes 13 settlements, in which 220,000 settlers reside.


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