Şimal Çınar –TDO- Due to a shooting attack on January 9 from a moving vehicle that killed a resident, Rabbi Raziel Shevah, as he drove to his home Israel granted legal status on Sunday to a previously unauthorized 50-family outpost of Havat Gilad in the West Bank. Authorities presume the assailant or assailants to be Palestinian and the decision was approved unanimously by Israel’s cabinet.

Even though the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision to retroactively authorize was meant to “allow the continuation of normal life there” most countries categorize the Israeli settlements in the West Bank which they captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians want for a future state, to be illegal. The area in question is one of the outposts that is deep inside the West Bank and one that is far away from the areas that Israel expects to manage a peace deal with Palestinians. Thus, most critics consider this move as a complicating one to the peace efforts.

Palestinian officials condemned the move. Wassel Abu Youssef who is a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee said “Netanyahu is trying to make facts on ground. All settlements in the West Bank, including in Jerusalem, are illegal.”