Israel’s Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of the extreme-right Otzma Yehudit movement Itamar Ben-Gvir agreed on Wednesday to amend a law that would allow Israelis to move to the Homesh settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
According to Haaretz, Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir also agreed that the necessary infrastructure will be provided for a series of illegal settlement outposts – which the premier has agreed to recognize – within 60 days after the government formation.
Outposts, built by illegal Jewish settlers without government authorization usually on land seized from private Palestinian owners, have gained recognition from the Israeli government before.
The decision to move settlers back into Homesh is expected to stoke further tensions with Palestinians in the West Bank, who are already the target of near-daily deadly raids by Israeli forces.
Homesh was one of four West Bank settlements – deemed illegal by most of the international community – that were evacuated as part of a 2005 unilateral disengagement by Israel which saw it also evacuate the Gaza Strip.
Despite this, unauthorized settlers continued to operate in Homesh, fuelling tensions with local Palestinians.
(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)