Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday his government is looking to obtain retroactive approval for the illegal settlement outpost of Ofra built on private Palestinian land near Ramallah.
“We have built and built and built. With great wisdom and determination,” he insisted, expressing hope that a path could be found to build more with court backing. “If that can be done, wonderful. If not, we’ll see.”
The illegal settlement of Ofra was established in 1975 on an abandoned Jordanian military base, with the approval of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, who were prime minister and defense minister, respectively, at the time.
Members of Netanyahu’s Likud party as well as coalition member, Jewish Home, called on Netanyahu to legalise the illegal settlement outpost in response to a shooting which injured seven illegal settlers on Sunday night.
“The Jewish Home Party calls on the prime minister to immediately regulate the settlement of Ofra and grant it the status of a regular town in our country,” a statement by the Jewish Home party said.
All settlements are deemed illegal under international law which prohibits the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory.