Israel occupation to legalize dozens of existing West Bank Jewish settlements 

Middle East Monitor  /  January 28, 2023

An Israeli newspaper confirmed that the right-wing occupation government led by Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to proceed with the “legitimization” of existing Jewish settlements and outposts in the occupied Palestinian territories, which are not yet recognized by Israeli law.

In a report prepared by Hanan Greenwood, Israel Hayom stated: “The government is poised to vote on a series of measures aimed at retroactively approving dozens of unauthorized outposts in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) at the cost of several billions of shekels.”

According to the coalition agreement between the Likud party and the Otzma Yehudit party, headed by extremist Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir: “The government has pledged to start settling this settlement quickly.” The newspaper revealed: “The goal is to settle the settlement through a plan that legitimizes dozens of settlements in the regions.”

Israel Hayom added that the agreement stipulates: “A ministerial forum headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to be formed within 30 days of the government being sworn in and that within sixty days, the cabinet will have to pass a resolution to have those communities get official recognition, launching an 18-month process that would culminate in them being connected to the electricity grid and water infrastructure, as well as other essential services and security.”

The newspaper reported that the Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee Yitzhak Wasserlauf would raise three issues with the government, beginning with a settlement, which is advancing a development plan that includes linking to critical networks, raising the level of infrastructure and constructing public buildings, as well as establishing a department for young settlements in his ministry in the near future.

The newspaper noted that the talk is about technical approval but is a declaration of intent. In the upcoming months, this ministry will work on the actual settlement of the young settlement. The assistant to the court’s legal advisor decided last April that electricity will be able to reach the young settlements. At the time, the then Minister of Justice Gideon Sa’ar welcomed it as an important step.

Israel Hayom also noted that the minister toured some settlements in the occupied southern Hebron Hills, which are part of the young settlements, along with Head of the Regional Council in Mount Hebron Yochai Dimri. During the tour, Wasserlauf announced that he intends to work as soon as possible to fix the fact that the minimum living conditions are not being met in these settlements.

The minister explained: “The young settlement was established with the support of the government, and I will not allow for there to be no infrastructure, water and electricity for the Jewish settlers.