Israel pushes ahead with deal to authorize West Bank outpost

Israeli media reported Wednesday that the country's outgoing attorney general has okayed a deal between the government and West Bank settlers that would retroactively authorize an outpost established without official approval

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 02 February 2022 08:42
Israel Palestinians
Israel Palestinians

Israel's outgoing attorney general has okayed a deal between the government and West Bank settlers that would retroactively authorize an outpost established without official approval, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

The move pushes forward the deal, which still needs a final green light from the country's defense minister, who signed on to the plan last year. It puts further strain on the country's fragile, ideologically-diverse governing coalition, which includes parties that support and oppose Palestinian statehood.

Under the agreement reached last year, the settlers left the outpost peacefully and the area became a closed military zone, with the houses and roads erected remaining in place. As part of the deal, a survey was carried out which, according to media reports, determined that part of the land was not owned by Palestinians paving the way for the establishment of a religious school and for some settler families to return.

Israel's Justice Ministry declined to comment. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Critics said the retroactive approval of the wildcat outpost was a reward for settlers who break the law, at a time when settler violence against Palestinians has surged.

Michal Rozin, a lawmaker with the Meretz faction, which is part of the government and supports Palestinian statehood, said the approval was “a victory for the violence of the outlaws in the outposts,” noting in a tweet that the move violated the coalition's decision to avoid divisive issues to ensure its stability.

The settlers named the outpost Eviatar, after an Israeli killed by a Palestinian in 2013, and say it was home to dozens of families. The deal to remove the settlers came just after the country's fragile government was formed and appeared to have been struck as a way to avoid the media spectacle of troops forcibly dragging away Israeli families.

Palestinians in nearby villages say the outpost was built on their land and fear it will grow and merge with larger settlements nearby. Before the settlers left, Palestinians held near-daily protests which led to violent clashes with Israeli troops.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of their future state.

Nearly 500,000 settlers live in more than 130 settlements that are authorized by Israel as well as dozens of outposts the state views as unlawful across the occupied West Bank. Israel has repeatedly granted these rogue settlements retroactive approval.

The Palestinians and much of the international community view all settlements as violation of international law and an obstacle to peace.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in