The United States has publicly criticized the Israeli decision to permit Jewish settlers to create a settlement in an outpost north of the occupied West Bank, strongly warning that the Israeli government must not attempt to confer any form of legality to the arrangement.
On Thursday, the head of the Israeli military’s Central Command provided authorization that will allow Israeli settlers to enter the Homesh region located near Nablus, opening up the potential for the establishment of a settlement in the area.
In March, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, gave the green light to an amendment that permits Israelis to repopulate four outposts that were unauthorized in the Northern West Bank which is under occupation.
This submission of the far-right government which has been in power since last year is part of its efforts to legalize nine outposts and enlarge existing settlements.
The US State Department has urged the Israeli occupation to abstain from any actions that result in an intensification of conflict with Palestinians, such as legalizing settlements.
The warning was particularly directed towards Homesh, the small area that was evacuated in 2005 but since then, has been subject to significant tensions when Palestinians and Israeli settlers conflict over their claims to the area, with the settlers attempting to re-occupy it.
In 1980, the Israeli settlement of Homesh was built by the Israeli occupation forces as a base on private Palestinian land, and then evacuated in 2005 when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon enacted his “disengagement plan”. Originally constructed in 1978, Homesh was later given to settlers.
Homesh is an Israeli settlement located in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is illegal under international law. Additionally, the Supreme Court of Israel found that the land used for the settlement belongs to private owners from the village of Burqa, thus rendering it illegal under Israeli law.
Despite the outpost having been evacuated, the Israeli occupation still has a military base in that area, giving settlers access to it while denying Palestinians who are the landowners the same privilege.
Illegal settlements populated by Jews are constructed and heavily fortified on Palestinian land, in defiance of international law.
Over 750,000 Israeli settlers currently live in a minimum of 250 of these illegal settlements situated in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.