Mideast: Netanyahu legalises outposts, PNA wants sanctions

24 April, 21:08

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, APRIL 24 - Three small nuclei of Israeli settlements on the West Bank - probably unknown to the majority of Israelis - are at the centre of a fresh quarrel between Israel and the Palestine National Authority.

    The PNA leadership is now calling for punitive measures against Israel on the part of the Quartet (USA, EU, UN and Russia) calling for economic sanctions against the Israeli state. The attempt to restart talks between the two sides (with last week's dispatch of a letter from President Abu Mazen to Premier Benyamin Netanyahu) would seem to have been denaturised once again.

    Giving rise to Palestinian outrage is last night's approval by an Israeli inter-ministerial committee of a 'moratorium' on the bordres for three Israeli outposts in the West Bank: Bruchim (100 households), Rachelim (50) and Sansana (50).

    These trail blazers have been present on the ground for many years, but for formal reasons they have never been acknowledged as 'settlements'.

    Pressures exerted by the settlement movement on the Likud have yielded their fruit and Mr Netanyahu agreed to ''make them official'' once and for all. This terminology shocked Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who stated that ''every Israeli settlement in the Territories is devoid of any legality and their construction represents a war crime''.

    The Peace Now movement has also protested, accusing the Netanyahu government of having created three new settlements with yesterday's decision. (ANSAmed).

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