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Netanyahu vows to turn illegal outpost into official settlement by next week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sochi, Russia on 23 August 2017 [En.kremlin]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sochi, Russia on 23 August 2017 [En.kremlin]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday vowed that his government would authorise the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad at its 4 February meeting.

According to the Jerusalem Post, this will “mark the fourth time since Netanyahu took office in 2009 that his government transformed an existing outpost into a new settlement”.

In 2012, the paper noted, the government authorised three outposts as new settlements: Bruchin, Rehalim and Sansana. In 2017, meanwhile, “the government also created the first entirely new settlement in over 20 years, called Amihai”.

Havat Gilad is an unauthorised settler outpost near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank. Calls for its “legalisation” followed the killing of one of its residents in a 9 January drive-by shooting.

All Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, both official and unofficial, are considered illegal under international law.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has already approved the move, and Netanyahu had been expected to advance a vote at yesterday’s weekly meeting.

Read: New Israeli settlement outposts in Jordan Valley used to displace Palestinians

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