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Days after evacuated of outpost, Ben Gvir demands 6 Palestinian structures be razed

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on January 22, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on January 22, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir issues a demand in the cabinet meeting for the destruction of what he says are six illegal structures built by Palestinians in Area C over the last month, as well as the illegal Khan al Ahmar Bedouin encampment.

The leader of the ultra-nationalist Otzma Yehudit party presents a document to the cabinet with aerial photos of what is allegedly illegal Palestinian construction and precise coordinates of the structures pictured.

Ben Gvir’s demand comes following the evacuation and destruction of an illegal Israeli settlement outpost in the northern West Bank on Friday by personnel from the Civil Administration unit and police and Border Police forces, which angered the ultra-nationalist parties in the coalition.

“The law is the law and there is one law for all. I will not accept racism against Jews on my watch. Just as the defense minister chose to destroy a Jewish outpost, we demand that illegal Arab construction in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] be destroyed,” says the Otzma Yehudit leader.

Right-wing Israeli NGOs and activist groups allege that unauthorized Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control, is not subject to the same enforcement as unauthorized Israeli construction, and that widespread Palestinian construction is part of a coordinated effort to establish territorial contiguity between Areas A and B of the territory which are under Palestinian control but are geographically fragmented.

Planning for the construction of several thousand housing units in legal Israeli settlements are approved each year by the Civil Administration, whereas authorization for Palestinian construction is very rarely issued.

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