HomeNewsUS Condemns Israeli Settlement Policy

US Condemns Israeli Settlement Policy

Israel Passes a Controversial Law Allowing Settlers to Return to the West Bank

On March 24, 2023, Israel passed a law allowing Israeli settlers to return to four settlements in the occupied West Bank. This action has caused international outrage and calls for intervention from the United States. The law, called the Law of Disconnection or withdrawal, was modified to allow settlers to return to the settlements of Chomesh, Ganim, Kadim and Sanur, between the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Jenin. The United States has summoned the Israeli ambassador, expressing their concern about the change in the law. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified that the government has no intention of establishing new settlements and the repeal of the Disengagement Law is a victory for supporters of the settlements.

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Why Israeli Settlements Were Abandoned

In 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew from settlements in the Gaza Strip and four other settlements in the northern West Bank due to security concerns and high military spending required to protect the settlers. Today, those same security concerns exist and have escalated, particularly in the northern West Bank. Israeli settlements are seen as a major obstacle to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Israeli Jurisprudence vs. International Law

Under international law, Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal, but Israel disputes this. The current right-wing religious government has legalized nine settlement outposts considered illegal under Israeli law and plans to build 7,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank. This leads to further division of Palestinian territory and new conflicts.

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Implications of the Knesset Decision

It remains unclear whether these settlements will indeed be re-inhabited, but the potential return of settlers could result in new conflicts. The Knesset’s decision came after a summit between Israeli and Palestinian representatives in Egypt aimed at calming tensions. Israel pledged not to undertake any new settlement activities for the next four months as part of a set of measures to prevent a further escalation in the region.

News Desk
News Desk
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