Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: US, French diplomats criticize Israeli order on West Bank settler outpost

The US State Department rebuked Israel on Sunday over an order that allows Jewish settlers to establish a permanent presence in a West Bank outpost. The State Department has repeatedly called on Israel to refrain from any moves that escalate tensions with Palestinians, like formalizing settler outposts, and specifically warned it over Homesh. “We are deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s order that allows its citizens to establish a permanent presence in the Homesh outpost in the northern West Bank, which according to Israeli law was illegally built on private Palestinian land,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/us-troubled-by-israeli-order-settler-presence-west-bank-outpost-state-dept-2023-05-21/) The chief of the Israeli military’s Central Command signed an order on Thursday that allows Israelis to enter the Homesh outpost area, paving the way for a formal settlement to be built there. The French foreign ministry also criticized the move, which it said was contrary to international law and breached commitments made by Israel at regional meetings this year in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh. Israel’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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