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Official Condemns Israeli Plan to legalize Outposts

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RAMALLAH, May 16, 2013 (WAFA) Foreign Minister Riyad Malki Thursday condemned an Israeli government plan to legalize four settlement outposts.

The Israeli government informed the Supreme Court of its intention to legalize four settlement outposts that were supposed to be demolished in 2003, said the Israeli anti-settlement organization Peace Now.

Malki said in a press conference that we condemn and reject this decision, stressing that world governments are unanimous in their opposition to settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian land.

Peace Now submitted in 2007 a petition against six outposts considered by the Israeli government as illegal. However, the Israeli government recently expressed its intention to legalize four of them.

The outposts which will legalized are Ma'ale Rehavam, located east of Bethlehem, Haroeh to the north of Ramallah, Givat Assaf, east of Ramallah, and Mitzpe Lachshish, southwest of Hebron.

According to Peace Now, the former government had promised to remove illegal construction built on private Palestinian land, but did not speak of any intention to legalize any outposts.

The intention to legalize outposts as new settlements is no less than a slap in the face of [US Secretary of State John] Kerry's new process and is blatant reassurance to settler interests, said Peace Now. The new Government is indicating it is not committed to peace and to two-state solution.

The Supreme Court will hold a hearing to look into the petition on May 22.

M.H./M.S.

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