Israeli sources reported on Wednesday evening that the Israeli government decided to approve a plan aiming at the expansion of the Itamar illegal settlement, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.The cabinet will be approving the new plan after studying its maps. The approval comes to implement the vows of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, following the stabbing attack carried out against a family in Itamar, last march, leading to a death of a settler father, mother and three of their children.
The plan was exposed in a letter sent by Israeli Interior Minister, Matan Vilnai, who had previously asked member of Knesset of the Yacov Katz, leader of the National Union Party, asking about the official stance of the Israeli government regarding plans to expand 13 illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Vilnai responded by stating that “currently, there are no active plans”, and that the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, along with related government agencies, had concluded the setting of the borders of Itamar to enable its expansion.
In the coming few days, the settlement council in Itamar will be presenting modified plan, that would be submitted for approval and licensing by the Israeli government and different ministries.
Israel is also preparing plans to regulate the Rahlim illegal outpost, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
The outpost is illegal under Israeli law as it was never licensed by any ministry, but now Israel wants to transform it into a settlement in order to be eligible for further services and infrastructure.
In his letter, Vilnai stated; “the government is currently weighing plans to legalize and document Rahlim, but the political leadership still needs to issue an official decision in this regard”.
He also referred to Naghot illegal outpost near the southern West bank city of Hebron, stating that the issue is currently under legal procedures that aim at weighing the possibility of transforming it into a “legal settlement”.