[now or never] Israel Knesset Committee endorses repeal of Disengagement Bill for northern West Bank Jewish settlements

Middle East Monitor  /  March 9, 2023

The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Israeli Knesset approved, on Thursday, a Bill that cancels parts of the 2005 Disengagement Law, which led to the evacuation of four Jewish settlements in the northern West Bank.

The Bill would repeal the clauses of the Disengagement Law that ban Israelis from living in the region where the four settlements of Homesh, Ganim, Kadim and Sanur previously stood in the northern Occupied West Bank.

The Bill is key to the government’s goal of legalizing the illegal settlement outpost of Homesh, which settlers have repeatedly tried to rebuild.

In February, the Knesset passed the preliminary reading of the Bill with 62 MKs in favour and 36 against.

The head of the Settlements Council in the Occupied West Bank, Yossi Dagan, expressed his pleasure at the Committee’s decision.

In 2005, then Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, enacted a law requiring unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, and the removal of 25 settlements in the two areas.

Twenty-one settlements in Gaza have already been removed and 8,000 settlers have been evacuated, while the four settlements in the northern West Bank have been evacuated, while the buildings are kept and considered a closed military zone.