A group of Israeli settlers have reportedly begun setting up an illegal outpost in the northeastern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported today.
Quoting Aref Daraghma, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, Wafa said that settlers set up mobile homes and solar panels in the area where the village of Khirbet Al-Sweida once stood in the northern Jordan Valley.
Daraghma added that the settlers had also brought construction equipment and material and begun digging a pool in the area.
The news site said that Palestinians living in Khirbet Al-Sweida had been evacuated by Israeli authorities to make space for Israeli settlements in the area.
At least two other illegal settlement outposts have been erected since the beginning of the year in the Nablus and Ramallah districts of the West Bank, although settlers in the Ramallah-area outpost were later mandated by Israel to dismantle their own structures.
An estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in 196 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and in a further 232 settler outposts considered illegal both by international law and Israeli domestic law, however, Israeli authorities regularly retroactively legalise the outposts.