Following a rumored freeze and Secretary Kerry’s continued efforts to revive peace talks, the Israeli government announced its intention to establish four new settler outposts in the Occupied West Bank.
The announcement that the settlements would be authorised was made in response to a Supreme Court petition by the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now.
On Tuesday, Israel submitted a formal response to Peace Now’s Supreme Court petition against six illegal outposts. In the response the government declares its intention to legalize four outposts, in isolated areas.
The former government had previously promised to remove the illegal construction built on private land, but had not declared its intention to legalize the outposts, according to Peace Now.
The Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the petition on Wednesday, May 22nd
As for the two remaining outposts on the petition, the Government states that most of the structures that were built on private land were removed, but does not say anything about the future of the outposts themselves.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry which is due to meet the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in attempt to revive peace talks.
“The intention to legalize outposts as new settlements is no less than a slap in the face of Secretary Kerry’s new process and is blatant reassurance to settler interests,” Peace Now said in a statement.
Negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian have been stalled since 2010, and while Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that he is ready to resume talks at any time, he has refused to meet the Palestinians’ preconditions — notably, a freeze to all settlement construction in West Bank.