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Israeli government to discuss settlement policy in West Bank amid divisions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), chairs a weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on January 15, 2023 [MENAHEM KAHANA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), chairs a weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on January 15, 2023 [MENAHEM KAHANA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

The Israeli government plans to hold a meeting next week to discuss its settlement policy in the occupied West Bank, reports Anadolu Agency.

The meeting comes amid divisions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government members on dismantling a settlement outpost in the northern West Bank that was erected by settlers on Friday.

A statement by Netanyahu's Office said the Israeli government backs settlement plans via coordination with the prime minister and security officials.

According to the statement, the settlement outpost was dismantled as it was built without the government's approval.

The dismantling of the outpost has drawn fire from Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is also a member of the defense ministry under an agreement between coalition partners.

READ: Israel settlers set up new outpost in Occupied West Bank

On Thursday, a US delegation headed by National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan visited the region and met with Palestinian and Israeli officials. During the visit, Sullivan underlined the US support for the two-state solution and opposition to any unilateral steps by Israel.

Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate that about 650,000 settlers are living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in occupied territories are considered illegal.

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