‘Deeply troubled’: US lashes Israel for legalization of West Bank settlement

Head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan (right) visits the new yeshiva in Homesh, May 29, 2023. (Roi Hadi)
Head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan (right) visits the new yeshiva in Homesh, May 29, 2023. (Roi Hadi)

The US State Department rebukes Israel for the government’s move to legalize the Homesh settlement in the West Bank.

“We are deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s recent order that allows its citizens to establish a permanent presence in the Homesh outpost in the northern West Bank,” the State Department says in a statement. “It is inconsistent with both former prime minister Sharon’s written commitment to the Bush administration in 2004 and the current Israeli government’s commitments to the Biden administration.”

“The expansion of settlements undermines the geographic viability of a two-state solution, exacerbates tensions, and further harms trust between the parties,” the statement says. “This is consistent with the views of previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican. We regularly engage with Israeli officials on this issue and will continue to do so.”

A new building for a yeshiva at the illegal outpost was constructed overnight at a new site, a long-term goal of the settlement movement and a fresh step in the government’s efforts to legalize the settlement.

Settler leaders and government ministers warmly praised the construction of the yeshiva, describing it as a rectification of an old injustice. Homesh had been evacuated in 2005 under the terms of the Disengagement Law.

A makeshift yeshiva has been located on private Palestinian land in Homesh for several years, but the new building was constructed on what Israel considers to be public land, as part of efforts to legalize the outpost.

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