Palestine Condemns Israeli Decision to Allow Settlers’ Return to Evacuated Settlement

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RAMALLAH — Palestine has condemned an Israeli decision that allows Jewish settlers to return to an Israeli settlement evacuated 18 years ago.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in a press statement that it condemns the decision of Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant to allow settlers to return to the “Homesh” settlement, evacuated in 2005, in the northern West Bank.

On Wednesday, Israel Radio reported that Gallant took the move weeks after the Knesset, or parliament, approved of the settlers’ return to the settlement in the second and third readings, Xinhua news agency reported.

The radio said that the Israeli Army will establish military sites as a starting point for rebuilding the deserted settlement.

“What happens is part of an Israeli race against time to prevent any opportunity to embody the Palestinian state on the ground, in implementing the principle of the two-state solution and the UN resolutions,” the Palestinian statement said.

It added that “the Palestinian people must be provided with the necessary climate to enable them to exercise their right to self-determination, like other people, as stipulated in the UN charter”.

After its occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Israel has constructed dozens of settlements in violation of the international law. According to Palestinian and Israeli institutions, more than 4,50,000 Israeli settlers live in 132 settlements and 147 random outposts in the West Bank.

The settlement issue is one of the main issues that have stalled the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks since 2014. — IANS

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