Israel legalises West Bank outpost in latest move to expand settlements

Israel legalises West Bank outpost in latest move to expand settlements
The Israeli security cabinet last month decided to make legal five illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank, declaring they're built on state land.
2 min read
10 July, 2024
Evyatar was first established in 2013 and evacuated in 2021. Israel has now declared the land on which it is built on state-owned [Getty]

Israel has made official an illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank by declaring it "state land", as it continues to further expand its illegal settlements in the territory and displace Palestinians.

The Evyatar post was among five illegal outposts to be legalised by the Israeli government recently, after the decision was previously delayed. The land on which the outpost was built on measures 65 dunams, according to the Israeli publication, Haaretz.

The newspaper said Palestinians who hold ownership of the land can challenge the decision at Israel’s highest court, otherwise the government will move to fully legalise it.

Evyatar was first established in 2013 and evacuated in July 2021 following a compromise agreement between the settlers and then-prime minister Naftali Bennet, who agreed to move forward with the outpost’s legalisation.

The other illegal outposts legalised two weeks ago by the Israeli security cabinet were Sde Ephraim, Givat Assaf, Heletz and Adorayim, some of them located in densely Palestinian-populated areas, Haaretz reported.

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has frequently aired his intentions to extend control over the West Bank, approving the construction of new settlements in the territory which are deemed illegal under international law, and attaining funds for security protection for settlements.

Smotrich is also a minister at the defence ministry and has control over the West Bank’s administration.

Last month, he told Israeli settlers that he is attempting to prevent the territory from ever becoming part of an independent Palestinian State.

For Palestinians, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are key parts of the future make up of any Palestinian state, with occupied East Jerusalem as their capital.

But Israel’s far-right has outright refused this.

Some nations have recently announced their recognition of Palestine, including Spain, Norway, Ireland, and Armenia. Slovenia’s government also passed a motion to recognise a Palestinian state and sent it to parliament.

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