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Hamas condemns Israeli bill allowing settlers’ return to evacuated illegal settlements

The file picture shows a view of construction work in the illegal Israeli settlement of Givat Ze'ev near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on May 10, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinians resistance movement Hamas has strongly denounced the approval of a new bill by Israel that enables settlers to return to areas of the occupied West Bank evacuated in 2005, saying the move amounts to an all-out war against Palestinians.

The movement said in a statement on Tuesday that the bill aims to Judiaze Palestinian lands, noting that Palestinian youths will certainly confront it with more resistance.

Hamas further urged the international community to prevent such measures by the Israeli regime, which are a clear violation of international law.

It also called for an immediate action to stop the Israeli regime's occupation and aggression against Palestinians and their holy sites.  

On Monday, the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, approved a draft bill that would repeal the clauses of the Disengagement Law that ban Israelis from living in the northern West Bank, allowing them to return to the four evacuated illegal settlements of Homesh, Ganim, Kadim and Sanur in the area.  

The bill—sponsored by Likud Knesset member Yuli Edelstein and Israeli extremist minister Orit Strook-- was passed with 40 votes in favor and 17 against.

"There is no longer any justification to prevent Israelis from entering and staying in the evacuated territory in northern Samaria (West Bank), and therefore it is proposed to state that these sections [of the disengagement law] will no longer apply to the evacuated territory," the introductory text to the amendment states.

In 2005, then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon enacted a law requiring unilateral withdrawal from the besieged Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, and the removal of 25 illegal settlements in the two areas.

Twenty-one settlements in Gaza have already been removed and 8,000 settlers have been evacuated. In the occupied West Bank, four illegal settlements were evacuated but the structures in them were maintained and the areas were labeled closed military zones.

The Israeli regime has already authorized new settlement outposts and pledged to construct new settler units in the West Bank.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The international community views the settlements -- hundreds of which have been built across the West Bank since Tel Aviv's occupation of the territory in 1967 -- as illegal under international law and the Geneva Conventions due to their construction on the occupied territories.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

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