Israel authorizes construction of nine settlement outposts
Netanyahu’s office claims that the communities existed for decades and were made without the authorization of the Israeli government
By News Desk - February 13 2023

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

Israel’s government authorized the construction of nine occupation outposts in the West Bank on 12 February and announced the construction of new homes within several settlements, drawing opposition from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Washington.

According to a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, the housing units are set to be built in separate illegal settlements. It also added that the “nine communities had existed for many years; some have existed for decades” and were built without the authorization of the Israeli government.

Over half a million Israelis live across 200 settlements on Palestinian land, including several areas in the West Bank. These settlements are deemed illegal under international law. Palestinians and political experts suggest that expanding Israeli settlements into the West Bank undermines efforts to reach a two-state solution.

The Palestinian foreign ministry released a statement the same day, saying that this decision crosses “all red lines” and undermines the revival of “the peace process.”

This came a week after Tel Aviv’s Religious Zionism party issued a statement highlighting that there will be “no pause” to the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, despite pushback from US officials.

“There will be no construction freeze in [the West Bank], period. There will be no damage done to Israeli deterrence against terrorists, period. There will be no continuation of illegal construction and Arab land-grabbing in open areas, period,” the statement reads.

On 31 January, Washington’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited the West Bank to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas and ‘condemned’ Israel’s settlement expansion, stressing the need to end resurgent violence in Palestine.

Blinken said that Washington opposes any actions taken by either side that make such a solution “more difficult,” including “settlement expansion, demolitions, and evictions, distractions to the historical status of holy sites.”


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