Israel approves nine ‘wild’ West Bank settlements

Palestinian territories

The Security Cabinet announces recognition of areas built without Israeli permission after a series of attacks in East Jerusalem

Agence France Press in Jerusalem

Mon 13 Feb 2023 09:02 GMT

Israel’s security cabinet has announced it will approve nine settlements in the occupied West Bank following a series of attacks in east Jerusalem, including one that killed three Israelis.

“In response to the murderous terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the Security Cabinet unanimously decided to authorize nine communities in Judea and Samaria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement Sunday, which included the name Israel chose for the West Bank.

“These communities have existed for many years, some for decades,” it said.

The so-called “wild” settlements were built without permission from the Israeli government.

“The Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration will be convened in the coming days to approve the construction of new housing units in existing communities in Judea and Samaria,” the statement said.

It said the “security cabinet had taken a number of additional decisions,” including strengthening security forces in Jerusalem, as part of the determined fight against terrorism.

Netanyahu said earlier Sunday during a meeting of his government that he wanted to “strengthen settlements” that are illegal under international law.

More than 475,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, where 2.8 million Palestinians live.

Netanyahu also announced that his government plans to submit a law to parliament this week to strip “terrorists” of Israeli citizenship.

The measures apply to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians with resident status in East Jerusalem, part of the Israeli-annexed city.

The announcements come amid an outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

A Palestinian killed three Israelis, including two children, in an attack in Ramot, a Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem, on Friday, and Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager in a raid in the northern West Bank on Sunday.

The conflict has claimed at least 46 Palestinian lives since the beginning of the year, including combatants and civilians, nine Israeli civilians and one Ukrainian woman, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli and Palestinian sources.


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