Israelis Return to West Bank Illegal Settlement Evacuated in 2005

Illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via Twitter)

Dozens of Israelis have returned to a former West Bank settlement, evacuated in 2005 under orders from then prime minister Ariel Sharon, to claim the land as Israeli, multiple sources said Tuesday.

Sa-Nur was one of four settlements in the occupied West Bank that Sharon ordered evacuated by the army along with all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of Jewish men, women, and children arrived at Sa-Nur late Monday, said Israeli lawmaker Ariel Kallner, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.

“I have to come to Sa-Nur to affirm that this place belongs to the people of Israel,” he said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

On Tuesday, Jewish settlers had climbed to the top of an abandoned tower in Sa-Nur, while others were idling elsewhere, an AFP photographer said.

Under the 2005 withdrawal, Israelis are prohibited from entering Sa-Nur in the northern West Bank, near the Palestinian city of Jenin.

Dozens of Israelis tried to re-establish a settlement in 2015 but were evicted by the army days after arriving.

Israeli lawmaker Betzalel Smotrich of the far-right Yemina party applauded the “Zionist” act of the settlers and urged Netanyahu to approve the reconstruction of Sa-Nur.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

Under international law, Jewish settlements constructed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories constitute a violation of international law and are considered illegal.

(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)

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