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Israel seeks to legalize 4 outposts

May 16, 2013 at 8:05 AM

JERUSALEM, May 16 (UPI) -- The Israeli government hopes to legalize four West Bank outposts on state land, a High Court of Justice document shows.

Responding to a Peace Now petition filed in the High Court of Justice, the government said Tuesday it hoped to legalize four outposts. The Peace Now petition demanded the government demolish six illegal outposts in the West Bank, The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

The move comes amid efforts by Washington to jump start Israeli-Palestinians peace talks.

Responding to the petition, the state said the four outposts it hoped to authorize were on state land or land purchased from the Palestinians, The Times of Israel said.

Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, issued a statement accusing the defense minister of being more concerned with "protecting hilltop youth" than "safeguarding the country's interests."

The Defense Ministry must approve the settlements.

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