Palestine warns against Israeli plan to legalize “illegal” settlement outposts

RAMALLAH, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) — The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Saturday warned against the Israeli government’s plan to legalize dozens of “illegal settlement outposts” built in the West Bank.

In an official report sent to Xinhua, the PLO’s National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements noted that the Israeli plan aims to seize and control more lands in the West Bank, referring to the remarks of Israeli Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi last week.

“Israel tries to use the remaining period in the administration of (U.S. President) Trump to expand its settlements to annex larger areas of the West Bank, and to impose facts on the ground,” the report said.

According to the PLO’s report, about 124 Israeli settlement outposts have been built in the West Bank since the 1990s without any official Israeli approval.

Palestinian rights groups said about 700,000 settlers have been living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967.

The Israeli settlements built on the Palestinian territories are regarded as illegal by the international community. However in 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington no longer considered Israeli settlements as inconsistent with international law.