Israeli defense minister announced a new task force to strengthen Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, local media reported on Thursday.
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Naftali Bennett, who is also the head of New Right party, established a task force to develop plans for the future of Area C of the West Bank and then advocate them.
“During the past few weeks settlers’ leaders in the West Bank have been invited to series of meetings … where they raised issues to be advanced in the upcoming months,” Haaretz reported.
According to the newspaper, the proposed plans would legalize unauthorized outposts and allow individual Israelis to privately buy land in the West Bank.
“It also includes hooking up outposts to water and electricity,” it added.
Legal sources, familiar with Bennett's plan, told Haaretz that it might face some legal difficulties as some of the proposed moves are effectively equivalent to annexing parts of the West Bank.
Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live on more than 100 settlements illegally built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians insist to regain the entire West Bank along with the Gaza Strip for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.
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