Report: Israel to mull bill legalizing outposts

Israeli lawmakers will discuss on Sunday a law to legalize settlement outposts built on land owned by Palestinians.
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli lawmakers will discuss on Sunday a law to legalize settlement outposts built on land owned by Palestinians, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

Israeli daily Haaretz said the bill will halt removal of outposts if Palestinian landowners failed to lodge an appeal within four years of its construction.

After clashes between settlers and Israeli forces, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to reassure settlers that he supports their building in the West Bank — illegal under international law but divided under Israeli law between sanctioned settlements and unauthorized outposts.

“Our main effort should be put into strengthening settlement, not in conflict with the law, and certainly not through conflict with one another,” he said in November.

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni condemned the bill on Thursday, saying that it “sends a strong message to those who throw rocks at IDF troops that force is effective,” Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Hardline settler groups have lashed out after a Supreme Court ruling that outposts built on private Palestinian land be dismantled, attacking an army base on Monday and torching three Palestinian mosques in the past seven days.

(www.maannews.net / 15.12.2011)

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