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Settler movement to build “10 new illegal outposts in one day”

Areas slated for seizure include four locations near Gush Etzion and one near Kedumim

Jerusalem24– Haaretz – Settler movement Nachala is planning to build 10 new illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank on the same day on July 20, according to Haaretz.

The Nachala Movement held a conference at the offices of the Binyamin Regional Council in the West Bank last Wednesday, attended by head of the Binyamin Regional Council Yisrael Gantz, mayor of Kiryat Arba Eliyahu Liebman, and deputy mayor of Jerusalem Aryeh King.

Nachala Movement leader Daniella Weiss, however, noted that this didn’t necessarily constitute sponsorship from the regional council.

The Nachala Movement, which young Israeli recruits can work with in lieu of doing their mandatory National Service, is the group behind the Evyatar illegal outpost established last year on land belonging to the Palestinian villages of Beita, Qabalan and Yatma.

This led to nightly protests by Beita residents and solidarity activists, dubbed the “Nights of Confusion”, during which the protestors waved lasers at outpost buildings and lit fires to cover the hill with smoke.

A total of eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during the months-long protests.

The Evyatar outpost was eventually evacuated in July in coordination with the Israeli army, pending the outcome of an Israeli judicial process to retroactively legalize the outpost. The outpost’s buildings and the Palestinian land it is built on remain under the protection of the Israeli army.

According to activists involved in various settler movements present at the event, several locations across the West Bank have already been slated for new outpost locations, including four areas near Gush Etzion, and a hilltop near Kedumim on which settlers have already forged an access path.

The Gush Etzion Regional Council sits on the lands of seven Palestinian villages southwest of Bethlehem, while Kedumim was built on land seized from the Palestinian village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern West Bank.

A member of Nachala told the audience they planned on conducting trips to locate land for the outposts from May 31 through June 2. “We will do a three-day trip that will go through all of Judea and Samaria at the beginning of the month of Sivan. We will examine the sites on the consideration of the roads, legal issues and the abilities of the core groups – and from there, we’ll set up.”

Most of the speakers at the event described the reason for their involvement in the action as concerns over the Palestinian “takeover” of the land.

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