Israeli cabinet says "approves" West Bank outpost ahead of elections

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-15 21:19:38|Editor: huaxia
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Israel's cabinet said on Sunday that it has "approved" a Jewish outpost in the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, two days before the country's parliamentary elections.

The decision was taken during a special meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet in the previously unauthorized outpost Mevo'ot Yeriho near the West Bank city of Jericho.

According to a statement issued by the prime minister's office, the cabinet voted to retroactively legalize the outpost.

Mevo'ot Yeriho was first established in 1999 with nowadays some 30 families living there.

Israeli settlement activity is deemed illegal by most world powers and under the international law, and considered one of the issues that hindered the peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

Netanyahu is on a re-election campaign and such moves are sought by his right-wing base.

Last week, he announced a plan to annex the Jordan Valley and some of the Dead Sea settlements if he wins the Sept. 17 elections. The lands comprise together more than 22 percent of the West Bank.

The plan triggered international concerns, including the Palestinian Authority which said that such a move will effectively cancel the interim peace agreements in the 1990s.

Office of the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that such steps, if implemented, "would constitute a serious violation of international law."