Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich issued instructions as a prelude to recognising three illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, according to Israel’s Maariv newspaper today.
The commander of the central region signed an order defining the scope of authorities for the Asa’el, Avigayil, and Beit Hoglah outposts in the West Bank, which would recognise them and enable them to be settled legally.
The government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister Bezalel Smotrich agreed to expand the outposts.
After signing the decree, Smotrich said: “Great things are happening in the settlements, and the nationalist government is advancing right-wing, Zionist and nationalist policies that see the development of the settlements in Judea and Samaria as an asset to the State of Israel,” referring to the West Bank by its biblical name.
Under international law both settlements and outposts are illegal, however israel distinguishes between the two, with ministers and settlers calling for outposts to be legalised and settled.