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Israel's Netanyahu further provokes Biden with relocation of outpost yeshiva

"It's not just's all that's happening; it's the fact that no one bothers to act according to the law anymore," a senior US diplomat told Al-Monitor, after Israel Israel went ahead with the relocation of the illegal outpost Homesh yeshiva, despite warnings from the Biden administration.
A Palestinian man inspects cars, reportedly burnt by Israeli settlers, in the village of Al-Mughayer, east of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on May 26, 2023. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

TEL AVIV — Relations between Israel and the United States — tense since the establishment of the right-wing government under Benjamin Netanyahu and its plan for a judicial overhaul — were further aggravated this week following the relocation on Monday by settlers of the makeshift yeshiva in the West Bank Homesh outpost from Palestinian private land to a nearby state-owned plot.

“We are deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s recent order that allows its citizens to establish a permanent presence in the Homesh outpost in the northern West Bank,” a State Department statement said on Monday.

The yeshiva in Homesh is small, with only 70 students and one rabbi. Still, it managed to set a resounding historical, legal and political precedent this week by moving into permanent quarters on contested land in the West Bank, marking a victory for Israel’s nationalist, pro-settlement camp.

Homesh, together with three other West Bank settlements, was evacuated and razed in the framework of the 2005 Gaza disengagement. Israelis have since been banned by law from living in any of the four locations. The Homesh yeshiva has been operating in recent years by claiming that it was an academic institution and its students do not live there on a permanent basis, and therefore was not violating the ban on settling there. In fact, students were clearly living on the grounds.

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