The Israeli Monitoring Committee, part of the Knesset Committees, held a meeting on Monday apparently in an attempt to grant licenses to illegal settlement outposts for the settlers in the occupied West Bank.Israeli sources reported that the Israeli government is seeking to please the settlers by expanding their outposts and allowing them to install new outposts in order to avoid any confrontation with them.

Thus, the Israeli authorities granted several licenses to most of the illegal outposts in the West Bank although these outposts are installed on Palestinian-owned lands.

Meanwhile, Israeli Vice Premier, Haim Ramon, stated that he aims at achieving an agreement with the settlers instead of confronting with them on the issue of outposts adding that the government does not seek such confrontations.

Ramon added that the government examined the possibility of licensing 100 illegal outposts and found out that one one-third of these outposts could be licensed.

He said that 26 illegal outposts, installed after March 2001, will evacuated and that Israel vowed to do so during talks with US officials.  

Also, a senior Israeli officials stated that the government is holding talks to settlement councils in the West Bank in order to arrive to an agreement with them.

Yet, member of Knesset Avashalom Filan, from the Meretz party, questioned the government on how did the state finance the paving of roads leading to illegal settlement outposts. Hundreds of illegal outposts are installed on Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, the outposts were hooked to power and water supplies and the Israeli government did not attempt to evacuate them.

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