Israel has decided to make legal under Israeli law three settlement outposts in the West Bank, the prime minister's office has said in a statement. It said that a ministerial committee had decided to "formalise the status" of Bruchin and Rechelim, in the north, and Sansana, near Hebron in the south.
I wouldn't term those communities "outposts" and I think Rechalim was made legal; already years ago. And as for Rechalim, I was there at its founding about a month after the terror incident (from which my wife was saved, being in another bus) on the eve of the Madrid Conference at the end of October 1991 when our neighbor here at Shiloh was murdered, Rachela Druck.
In any case, we have a response:
The Palestinian Authority strongly condemned the decision. "Every single settlement built on Palestinian land is illegal", Chief Negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told the BBC..."I don't want to get into a discussion about what the Israelis use as an excuse for what is legal and what is not," says Mr Erekat, who handed the letter to the Israeli Prime Minister. "The Israeli government must choose between peace and settlements. It cannot have both."
I wonder, according to his thinking, is every single Arab community built in Israel...illegal? Are they "settlements"?
Where's the logic, if not?
Foreign Secretary condemns Israel’s legalisation of illegal outposts
24 April 2012
Foreign Secretary William Hague comments on the news that the Israeli government has legalised three outposts in the West Bank.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“I strongly condemn the Israeli government’s decision yesterday to turn three illegal outposts in the West Bank into settlements. I urged the Israeli government in my statement on 5 April to remove - not legalise - outposts across the West Bank. I fully appreciate the difficult political discussion within Israel such action would require. However, the official sanction being given by Israel, designating outposts as settlements for the first time in over 20 years, sets a dangerous precedent for other outposts, which are illegal under both international and Israeli law.
“By seeking to entrench illegal settlements in the West Bank, as this decision does, the Israeli government risks sending the message that it is not serious about its stated commitment to the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The United Kingdom, in common with all our European Union partners, urges the Israeli government to listen to Israel's international friends. The UK calls on the Israeli government to focus their efforts on a lasting resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, to which this further shift in settlement policy presents one more obstacle. I call on the Israeli government to rescind this decision."