Israel won’t authorise new West Bank settlements ‘in coming months’


Israel has informed the US that it won’t approve new settlements in the occupied West Bank “in the coming months”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Monday.

On February 12, Israel’s far-right coalition government legalized nine settler outposts that have been built without permits by granting them retroactive authorization. The move drew sharp condemnations from the Palestinians and world powers, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the statement issued by Netanyahu’s office, Israel has informed the United States that no new settlements will be authorized beyond the nine settlements that have already been approved. The office did not elaborate on a specific timeframe.

Outposts are settlements built by ultranationalist settler activists without official permits from Israeli authorities and are deemed illegal under Israeli law.

There are dozens of unauthorized outposts and some 140 Israeli-authorized settlements scattered around the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and where the Palestinians wish to establish their future state.

Most of the international community regards all Israeli settlements as illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. However, Israel maintains that the settlements are legal.


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