On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would act in accordance with Israeli law when it came to dismantling illegal outposts in the West Bank.
"The settlement movement is important to everyone and to me as well," Netanyahu said during a Likud faction meeting. "However, our efforts must focus on strengthening our existing settlements and not battling the law."
Netanyahu stressed that settlers in the West Bank must stop erecting illegal outposts, saying there are enough places in which to build homes in the settlements other than on someone's private land.
"We will continue preserving the settlement as well as the law, and there is no contradiction between the two," the prime minister said.
Netanyahu noted that the decision to build 2,000 new housing units as a response to Palestinian membership of UNESCO only pertained to areas that were expected to remain in Israeli control under any future peace agreement.
Several outposts in the West Bank are due to be dismantled at the end of the year following a Peace Now petition to the High Court of Justice.
Meanwhile on Monday, some 150 pro-settler activists, including several MKs, marched from the Supreme Court to the Knesset to demand that Netanyahu hold a cabinet vote on the planned evacuation of illegal West Bank outposts. The rally came a day after 12 right-wing protesters were arrested on suspicion of assaulting soldiers and police officers attempting to evacuate the Oz Zion outpost, near the settlement of Beit El.
Police said dozens of protesters had thrown rocks at security forces at around 3 A.M. Sunday and had also blocked roads in an effort to retain the outpost. The protesters are also being accused of entering a closed military zone.
Seven of those arrested were minors.
Three families and about 20 women were living in structures that police said had been built without permits.
Right-wing activists have been preparing for the evacuation of West Bank outposts ordered by the High Court. Some 90 permanent structures are due to be demolished in the outposts of Givat Assaf and Migron, as well as in the area of Beit El where a religious high school for girls is located.
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