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Israel to connect illegal outposts to electricity grid

A picture taken on January 17, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Hares shows illegal outposts in the Israeli Jewish settlement of Revava [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on January 17, 2017 from the Palestinian West Bank village of Hares shows illegal outposts in the Israeli Jewish settlement of Revava [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel's Attorney General's Office approved a controversial bill that will enable illegal Israeli outposts, based in the occupied West Bank, to be connected to the electricity grid.

According to the Deputy Attorney General Carmit Yulis, outposts built on land declared "state-owned" by Israel will be connected to the power grid, excluding those built on private Palestinian land, Haaretz reported.

Yulis also stated that equal consideration must be given to Palestinian communities, meaning that those in Area C, would also be connected.

However, political sources indicated that the number of Palestinian villages connected to the grid would be smaller compared to the number of illegal outposts.

Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar welcomed the move on Twitter: "I welcome the opinion of Deputy Attorney General Adv. Carmit Yulis, which in principle allows the connection of homes in the young settlements to electricity."

He added: "This is an important move for the citizens of Israel in the young settlements, and I hope that the full move will be completed within a reasonable period of time after Israeli governments in the past refrained from addressing the issue."

The outposts approved to be connected to power have what the Israeli government considers a "regulatory horizon," meaning that they can be made legal, reported Haaretz.

There are over 700,000 illegal Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. All settlements are illegal under international law. So-called settlement "outposts" are illegal under both international and Israeli law.

READ: Israel to demolish mosque, homes, cut power in eastern Jerusalem

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