Just two days before voting is to start, the Israeli Prime Minister has shifted his gaze towards the 120 and more Israeli settlements in the West Bank and floated the idea of making them as formal establishments, post his success of securing a fifth term in his leadership.
Benjamin Netanyahu convened a cabinet session in the West Bank recently, something which has been unheard of. At the meeting, the government has approved Netanyahu’s proposal to turn the outpost of Mevo’ot Yericho into a formal settlement. This a surprising development taking shape almost 20 years after it was established as a farming community in the Jordan Valley without state sanction.
To give more weight to his promises, Netanyahu publicly said that the move would be put into action by the government formed after Tuesday’s election to grant final approval. His move looks like an apt political strategy to win votes from West Bank inhabitants, that Palestine clearly believes has no say in who governs the land.
Administration in West Bank was divided between Palestine and Israel after the Oslo II Accord as Area A, B, C where Area A came under Palestine, Area B was shared between Israel and Palestine and Area C was with Israel where today, there is a cluster of Israeli settlements to be found.
Ironically, the Palestinians and many countries consider all Israeli settlements to the score of almost 120, in the West Bank, to be illegal under the Geneva Conventions relating to occupied territory. Israel has been disputing this ever since 1967. It has said to have cited security needs and biblical, historical and political connections to the land. Palestine continues to hold a stand and assertion made a few days ago, that Israel will have to withdraw their illegal settlements and nothing changes that status on Area C. Palestine wishes to get an independent country in West Bank including Gaza Strip and longs to have East Jerusalem at its capital.