Committee formed to legalize West Bank outposts

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin formed a committee to decide how to legalize the status of West Bank outposts.

Netanyahu announced the formation of the committee on Sunday at the regular Cabinet meeting. He had been expected to bring the recognition of the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim to the Cabinet for approval.

Netanyahu will serve on the panel. Other committee members are Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and government minister Benny Begin.

The Cabinet on Sunday authorized the panel to reach a final decision on the recognition of settlements built on state land or through aid from the government.

Also Sunday, the Cabinet debated the issue of the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, which is slated to be demolished by May 1. A Cabinet committee on Ulpana was formed last week and was scheduled to meet Sunday.

Observers say that Netanyahu’s ruling government coalition could break apart if the neighborhood is destroyed.
 

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