Israel ministers join pro-settlement rally in occupied West Bank – Middle East Monitor

A number of Israeli ministers and lawmakers joined a rally on Monday in support of settlement building in the occupied West Bank, reports Anadolu Agency.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and the head of the Shomron Regional Council, a body responsible for a block of settlements in the West Bank, Yossi Dagan took part in the rally along with 20 lawmakers of the 120-seat Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

Participants marched towards Mount Sbeih near Beita town, south of Nablus, where the illegal Evyatar outpost is established, according to an Anadolu reporter.

“We are here in order to say ‘the Jewish people are strong’,” Ben-Gvir said during the rally.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a decision on the fate of the illegal outpost until after the fasting month of Ramadan, which will end later this month.

READ: Over 1,500 Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

The outpost was built by Israeli settlers in May 2021 near Nablus.

Monday’s rally was staged amid rising tension across the Palestinian territories after Israeli police last week forcibly removed worshippers from inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate that about 650,000 settlers are living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in occupied territories are considered illegal.

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