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Israeli settlers establish new outpost in occupied West Bank

May 24, 2024 at 11:21 am

Israeli settlers gather in an attempt to reestablish an illegal settlement outpost on January 22, 2023 [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli settlers established a new settlement outpost north of the city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, the Palestinian news agency WAFA has reported.

According to Anadolu Agency, Ayman Gharib, an activist with the Popular Resistance Committees in the Jordan Valley, told WAFA that, “Around 15 illegal settlers brought building equipment and set up a new settlement outpost about 300 metres from Al-Auja water channel.” He stressed that the channel is a significant source of water in the area.

Gharib pointed out that the group of settlers had set up another settlement outpost in the same area about two weeks ago. “The creation of these settlement outposts aligns with colonial plans driven openly by the far-right Israeli occupation government.”

All of Israel’s 300 settlements and the 800,000 settlers who live in them are in the occupied West Bank illegally, according to international law. Settler “outposts” are supposedly illegal even under Israeli law.

In response to an announcement by Spain, Norway and Ireland on Wednesday to recognise the State of Palestine, the Israeli parliament approved a preliminary reading of a bill to annex land in the West Bank to Israel and regard the area south of Hebron as part of the Negev. In other words, steal more Palestinian land intended under the Oslo Accords for a Palestinian state.

Moreover, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant ordered the repeal of the Disengagement Law in some northern West Bank areas, reopening them for Israeli settlement for the first time since 2005, reported Yedioth Ahronoth. That was when the then Prime Minister of the colonial state, Ariel Sharon, ordered the evacuation of Israeli settlements in Gaza along with four settlements in the northern West Bank as part of his plan for disengagement from the territory.

Earlier on Thursday, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed a plan by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to displace Palestinian shepherds from their lands in the occupied West Bank.

“In February and March 2024, we documented some 20 incidents in which Israeli settlers and soldiers drove Palestinian shepherds out of pastureland in the South Hebron Hills,” said B’Tselem.

While the world’s focus is on Israel’s genocide in the Gaza Strip, the apartheid state has been attacking, arresting and displacing Palestinians with even more intensity than usual in the occupied West Bank.

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