Straight from the Source | November 22nd, 2022
On Wednesday, November 16, Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and far-right leader Itamar Ben-Gvir agreed to introduce an amendment to the 2005 Disengagement Law. This amendment would legalize the Homesh outpost, previously a Jewish settlement in the West Bank that was evacuated in accordance with 2005 disengagement. The two leaders agreed that the Israeli government will provide the infrastructure needed for these settlements within 60 days of forming the government. Palestinian leadership and supporters have expressed outrage, while global concerns regarding Israel’s new government persist amid this development.
The Disengagement Law was originally approved by a wide Knesset majority in February 2005. Written in Jewish Virtual Library, the law empowered “the government to pay approximately $870 million to 9,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank and begin evacuating them in five months.”
If the amendment is successful, the Homesh unauthorized outposts would be legalized and become settlements. Explained in Israeli news channel i24News, “outposts—sometimes called ‘young settlements’—are constructed without approval from the Israeli government, whereas settlements have government authorization... The [current] law forbids Israelis from entering the Homesh area, yet they flock to the location regularly and have established a yeshiva there”
While Israelis have not been authorized to enter the Homesh area since 2005, frequent visits have continued. In August, human rights groups demanded the Israeli state to evacuate the outposts. Written in Haaretz, “representatives of the Israeli government informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday, [August 10], that the illegal outpost of Homesh in the northern West Bank will eventually be evacuated but that no date has been set. Therefore, the state said, the court does not need to intervene in the matter, arguing it is up to the defense minister to set the date.”
However, Israel's new Knesset, influenced heavily by the right wing, shows a different path than August. Written again in i24News, “Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party released a statement after the meeting that there was ‘significant progress in the talks.’ However, even if such promises are entered into coalition agreements, there is no guarantee they would pass in parliament.”
Various Israeli officers have publicly expressed their support towards ending the Disengagement Law completely. Expressed in Israel National News, Knesset member Nir Barkat stated that “the aim is to cancel the Disengagement Law… For this, we need to work hard with Washington; we need to work together with the Americans. Whoever thinks that a unilateral act will succeed is misunderstanding something. The better we explain to them, the easier it will be for us to work better.”
Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh stated that this possible amendment ‘goes against international law.’ Highlighted in Middle East Eye, Abu Rudeineh said: "These understandings strike at any possibility of achieving peace and establishing an independent Palestinian state, based on the principle of the two-state solution, and in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.”
The Palestinian Ministry has requested global support in opposition of the amendment and its repercussions. Written in the Jerusalem Post, “the ministry called on the US administration and the international community to exert pressure on Israel to force it to abandon plans to legalize the outposts.”
Straight from the Source
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