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Indonesia condemns Israeli push to legalize Jewish outposts

Jakarta Post - February 16, 2023

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Indonesia has strongly condemned Israel's unilateral decision to legalize nine Jewish outpost settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and authorize the construction of 10,000 new houses in the area.

The Foreign Ministry suggested the decision had violated international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, and served to further fuel tension and instability in the region.

"The international community must unite to urge Israel to stop these actions and continue to urge for a two-state solution," the Indonesian ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday.As a staunch supporter of Palestinian independence, Indonesia has opposed entering into a diplomatic relationship with Israel. Jakarta has also been at the forefront of guiding efforts to realize the two-state solution, whereby the two nations coexist side-by-side.

Israel claims the entirety of the occupied Palestinian land, and has erected settlements to cement its de facto control over it.

On Sunday, the Israeli government granted retroactive authorization to nine Jewish settler outposts in the occupied West Bank and announced the mass construction of new homes within established settlements.

Most countries consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal under international law, which Tel Aviv disputes.

According to the Peace Now watchdog group, which keeps track of Israeli actions in occupied Palestinian territory, Israel has established 132 settlements in the West Bank since capturing it in 1967.

The nine settler outposts approved on Sunday are the first for the current Benjamin Netanyahu administration, the most right-wing government to ever lead Israel.

A statement from Netanyahu's office said that a planning committee would convene to approve new settlement homes, with the Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich saying that 10,000 of such houses would be approved.

The administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the announcement on Sunday should be "condemned and rejected".

"It is a challenge to United States and Arab efforts and a provocation to the Palestinian people, and it will lead to more tension and escalation," said Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh, as quoted by Reuters.

Washington had not made an immediate comment on the matter, but US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides said last month that the US would oppose such moves.

"We want to keep a vision of a two-state solution alive. He [Netanyahu] understands that we understand that massive settlement growth will not accomplish that goal," he was quoted as saying.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/world/2023/02/16/indonesia-condemns-israeli-push-to-legalize-jewish-outposts.htm