Israel sinks more West Bank roots
ISRAEL will legalise an isolated outpost in the occupied West Bank in response to the murder of a rabbi in a shooting there last month.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting that those who tried to "break our spirit and weaken us made a grave mistake”.
He said the decision to retroactively authorise the 50-family outpost of Havat Gilad was designed to "allow the continuation of normal life there”.
The anti-settlement Peace Now group said the move to legalise the settlement was a "cynical exploitation of the murder”.
Most countries consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank - land captured by Israel in the 1967 war but wanted by Palestinians for a future state - to be illegal, but Israel disputes this.
Palestinian officials condemned the move and said it seemed to be the result of a change in US policy towards Israel.
In December, Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with decades of US policy that the city's status must be decided in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"All settlements in the West Bank, including in Jerusalem, are illegal,” Wasel Abu Youssef of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, told Reuters.
Last month, Rabbi Raziel Shevah, a 35-year-old father of six and resident of Havat Gilad, was shot dead from a passing vehicle as he drove near his home in the unauthorised settlement outpost near Nablus.
A suspected associate in the attack was arrested in the northern West Bank overnight on Saturday, the Israel Defence Force said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, a 19-year-old protester was killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers calling for the surrender of Ahmad Nassar Jarrar, who is suspecting of leading the cell that killed Mr Shevah, the Times of Israel reports.
Ahmad Abu-Obeid was shot by soldiers when stone-throwers confronted them, the Palestinian Health ministry said.
- Samuel Osborne, The Independent