Israeli Forces Remove Settler Outpost in West Bank, Angering Far-Right Ministers

Illegal setters take over Palestinian land in Nablus. (Photo: Muhammad Shehada TW Page)

Israeli forces on Friday expelled a number of Jewish settlers from an unauthorized outpost in the occupied West Bank that they had erected hours earlier, provoking the anger of pro-settler activists and members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, The New Arab reported.

According to pictures released by Israeli media, the group built several temporary outposts on a rocky road, near a much larger illegal Jewish settlement.

No clashes or injuries were reported, however, but the move angered finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, a staunch settler activist and hardline member of Netanyahu’s government, which is considered the most extreme in Israel’s history.

Jewish Settlers Set up New Illegal Outpost in Occupied West Bank

Smotrich had instructed the authority that coordinates policy on the West Bank on Friday not to remove the outpost until after a discussion next week, according to a statement from his office.

However, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant ordered its removal regardless. Smotrich said that this violated the coalition agreement that formed the Israeli government.

Netanyahu issued a statement afterward, in which he said: “The government supports settlements, but only when they are done legally and in prior coordination with the prime minister and security officials, which did not happen in this case”.

Following the Israeli elections in November last year, Netanyahu handed Smotrich, who heads the extremist Religious Zionism party, considerable powers to approve the construction of further settlements in the occupied West Bank.

As part of a deal to form a governing coalition, Netanyahu will only participate in the initial stage of the planning process when the government decides the size and location of new illegal settlements, according to The Times of Israel.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

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