Israel, Netanyahu courts the far right to form the government: ready to recognize 65 illegal outposts in the West Bank

Israeli prime minister in pectore Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement with the far-right party on 17 November Otzma Yehudit who will see the recognition by the next government of 65 settlement outposts in the West Bank busy. The LikudNetanyahu’s right-wing party, said in a statement that the deal was reached after a meeting between Bibi and the leader of Otzma Yehudit, Itamar Ben-Gvir, specifying that the two politicians have made “significant progress” in forming the next government. The news comes as Netanyahu is attempting to assemble a coalition government by pursuing talks with his allies in extreme right to form the next Israeli executive. According to reports Haaretztalks on key government positions have stalled, but Netanyahu has insisted that “there will soon be a government.”

The agreement comes days after the adoption of the draft resolution by the United Nations requesting an advisory opinion International Court of Justice (Cig) on ​​the prolonged occupation carried out by Israel in Palestine. The resolution, approved by the Fourth Committee of the United Nations in New York, in fact requests that the Hague Tribunal pronounce itself “urgently” on the “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory” by Israel, which is violating the right of Palestinians to self-determination. 98 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 52 abstained and 17, including Italy, voted against.

In fact, according to what the Middle East Monitorthere are 451,000 settlers in 132 settlements and 147 unauthorized outposts in the occupied West Bank that aim to tighten the cordon around Palestinian communities and steal as much land as possible. At present, all Israeli settlements are deemed illegal under international law. Israel, however, considers only the outposts illegal, arguing that they were built by individual settlers or groups of settlers and not by the government. Al Jazeera, which cites dozens of reports from human rights and monitoring groups, instead explains that the Israeli government provides infrastructure, support and funding for settlers to build outposts. In addition, in recent years the Israeli government has retroactively legalized many outposts and has passed legislation that makes it easier to do so.

Always second Haaretzin another meeting, this time with the ultra-nationalist leader Bezalel Smotrich at the head of Religious Zionist PartyNetanyahu said Israel must “use the opportunity” presented by the recent attack on the illegal settlement of Ariel in the West Bank to recognize unauthorized outposts in that area and others. Among the outposts to be legalized according to Netanyahu’s plan is that of Homeshevacuated in 2005 and located between the Palestinian cities of Nablus And Jenin. This settlement is located on Route 60, the main north-south highway in the West Bank, used by Palestinians and Jewish settlers. And as the local journalist explains Shadi Jararah to Al Jazeera “the resettlement of Homesh, in particular, will mean destruction for the Palestinians living along the Nablus-Jenin road,” adding that “currently there are almost daily attacks by settlers against Palestinians on Route 60 and also against homes in Burqa”, a Palestinian village near Homesh. “The presence of settlers in Homesh and on the main road to Jenin will lead to greater tensions”.

Other issues agreed in the pact for the new Likud-Otzma Yehudit government include an enforcing law minimum penalties for agricultural offences and acceleration in planning and construction of ring roads for the exclusive use of Jews to connect Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. US officials have expressed concern about the crucial role the far right is playing in forming a new government in Israel. According to the newspaper The Times of Israelthe US ambassador to the country, Tom Nidesasked Netanyahu not to name Bezalel Smotrich as defense minister. “The party has a lot of respect and appreciation for our US ally, but the Biden administration should also respect Israeli democracy and not interfere in setting up an elected government,” the far-right party replied in a tweet. “A sovereign nation cannot accept foreign dictates that would endanger Israel’s security and harm Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

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