Israel legalizes West Bank outpost after settler killed

Marie Harrington
February 5, 2018

European nations and the UN maintain their strong opposition to settlement building. In 2012, it authorized three outposts as settlements: Bruchin, Rehalim and Santana.

Some 42 families now live in the outpost.

The move was condemned by Palestinian officials.

A military spokeswoman said the rioting broke out while troops were arresting several suspects connected with the fatal drive-by shooting of an Israeli rabbi from the settler outpost of Havat Gilad on January 9.

A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank during a confrontation sparked by the soldiers.

IDF troops operate in the Jenin area on February 3, 2018, in pursuit of Ahmed Jarrar, a suspect in the killing of Raziel Shevach. Eight Palestinians were injured, four were taken away by Israeli soldiers and they demolished a room and a barn, during a massive invasion into Burqin town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Netanyahu told the Cabinet he had spoken with Yael Shevach, the widow of the murdered rabbi.

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"We promised and the proposal to normalise Havat Gilad outpost as a regular community will be brought to the cabinet for approval this coming Sunday", Lieberman wrote on Twitter. And we will bring them all to justice.

Roger Kuby, Shevach's father-in-law, told Agence France-Presse the government move was "a small consolation, but an important gesture".

At Shevah's funeral there were calls for "revenge" during a speech by Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Jewish Home party.

Bennett responded by saying that the only revenge should be in building more settlements, and Netanyahu said Sunday that was one of the planks of his policy. Whoever thinks that through the reprehensible murder of a resident of Gilad Farm, a father of six, that he can break our spirit and weaken us, is making a bitter mistake.

"The government will provide the status of Havat Gilad in order to facilitate orderly life there".

But Israel differentiates between settlements it has approved and those it has not.

In nine years with Netanyahu as the head of government, the cabinet has voted only once to convert unapproved outposts into officially recognized settlements, according to the Jerusalem Post. Tensions in the region have risen since US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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