Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Thursday morning to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank for Jewish settlers evacuated from the illegal outpost of Amona in Ramallah, the Times of Israel has reported. The Israeli prime minister said that he is fulfilling a promise he made earlier to the settlers, noting that his cabinet would vote on the new proposal today.
“I promised from the beginning that we would build a new settlement,” Netanyahu told journalists in his office. “I think I first made that commitment in December, and today we are fulfilling it. In another few hours, you will know all the details.”
According to the Times of Israel, the move “would appear to fly in the face of US President Donald Trump’s demand of Netanyahu to hold off on construction in the West Bank.” The Israeli leader is apparently seeking his ministers’ approval for the new settlement, despite not having an agreement with Trump, because he is under considerable pressure from them to honour his obligation to build the replacement for Amona.
The Israeli High Court ruled that the Amona outpost was illegal as it was built on privately-owned Palestinian land. It was then razed to the ground.
All of Israel’s colony-settlements are illegal under international law. Under Israeli law, however, only “outposts” which have not been “authorised” by the government are deemed to be illegal.