Politics, Middle East

Israeli Cabinet approves plan to legalize 5 settlements in West Bank

Plan includes measures against Palestinian Authority, legalization of 5 settlement outposts, issuance of tenders for thousands of new housing units, says report

Mohammad Sıo  | 28.06.2024 - Update : 28.06.2024
Israeli Cabinet approves plan to legalize 5 settlements in West Bank


The Israeli Cabinet on Thursday evening approved steps proposed by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich aimed at "legalizing" settlement outposts in the West Bank and imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority.

Israel's official broadcasting authority KAN reported on Friday that the Security Cabinet approved Smotrich's plan to counter Palestinian statehood recognition and actions against Israel in international courts.

The plan includes measures against the Palestinian Authority, the legalization of five settlement outposts in the West Bank, and the issuance of tenders for thousands of new housing units in settlements.

Additionally, the plan involves revoking permits and benefits for Palestinian officials, restricting their movement, and preventing senior officials from leaving the country.

Furthermore, it includes measures such as removing executive powers from the Palestinian Authority in the southern West Bank, enforcing laws against unauthorized construction, and protecting heritage sites and environmental areas.

The areas designated as “Area B” in the West Bank fall under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security control.

Smotrich’s proposal specifically addresses the recognition and regularization of five settlement outposts in response to the five countries officially recognizing Palestine as a state after Oct. 7.

Spain, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, and Armenia have all made official declarations recognizing the state of Palestine, particularly in the aftermath of the destructive Israeli war on Gaza that has been ongoing since last October.

Settlement outposts are small communities established by illegal Israeli settlers on privately owned Palestinian land without approval from the Israeli government.

The Israeli broadcaster noted that the Cabinet was also expected to discuss releasing tax funds to the Palestinian Authority under pressure from the US and the EU.

Additionally, they were to consider transferring Palestinian tax revenues through a third country other than Norway, which recognized Palestine as a state.

The tax revenues, known as “clearance revenues,” amount to approximately 770 million shekels ($220 million) per month and are collected from goods imported into the Palestinian market from abroad or from Israel. These funds were collected before the war on Gaza.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio

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