An expanding settlement in the occupied West Bank and the city of Gush Etzion in the Negev is drawing criticism from Israel’s right wing.
The Gush Etsion settlement will be built next to the illegal outpost of the Gush Dan, a controversial outpost that Israel built to separate Gush Emek and the occupied territories in the 1960s and 1970s.
Critics say the Gishon Etsions settlement, which is adjacent to the illegally built Gush Bet, violates the Israeli-Egyptian agreements that established the separation.
The outpost is located in the northern part of the Jordan Valley and covers approximately 1,400 dunams (14,400 hectares).
Israel’s right-wing opposition has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of trying to divide the region to further the Jewish state’s economic and strategic goals.
Israel built the Goyim settlement near the Gaza Strip, which also has its own settlement, and is building a new outpost, Maale Adumim, in the southern West Bank.
Netanyahu has called on his government to halt construction of the new outpost as the international community pushes to restore calm in the region.
But his administration has resisted.
An Israeli court on Thursday found that Maale Etsons expansion violated Israeli and Egyptian agreements that establish the separation of Goyas land and the Gitzot settlement in northern Gaza.
Gush Etzuion is expected to be the first outpost built in the West Bank to be built without any Israeli approval, and the first since the United Nations General Assembly voted in April to recognize the Israeli settlements of Eshkol, Gush Katif and Gush El.
The Israeli government has vowed to appeal the ruling.
The ruling has triggered international outrage and calls for the international body to declare the settlements illegal.
Maale Etzions expansion was approved by the Israeli Cabinet last year but never implemented.
The government plans to seek approval for the expansion of Maale Etziion before the end of March.