Israel Tries To Save West Bank Settlements It Vowed To Dismantle [View all]
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
April 11, 2012
JERUSALEM — Israel's government is scrambling to find ways to save some of the unauthorized West Bank settlements it once promised to dismantle, including some that are built partly on private Palestinian land.
The new strategy seeks to retroactively legalize some outposts and, in other cases, relocate Jewish settlers to nearby land that is not privately owned, in effect creating what critics say would be the first new West Bank settlements in years.
The approach by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition government appears designed to avoid the need to carry out high-profile military evictions of settlers in order to appease conservative lawmakers, who have accused Netanyahu of betraying the settlers' cause.
But it raises questions about past promises by the succession of Israeli governments — to Palestinians, the international community and Israel's own Supreme Court — to stop building new settlements and evacuate many of the illegal outposts, particularly those built on Palestinian land without official Israeli authorization.