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Israeli settlers agree to leave flashpoint West Bank outpost

Palestinians in the nearby community of Beita responded with nighttime protests by flashing horns and burning tires.

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Jewish settlers have decided to leave a new settlement in the occupied West Bank that has stimulated weeks of Palestinian protests ensuing a deal with Israel’s government, officials said.

Under the agreement, established by settler leaders and the Israeli interior ministry, the settlers will depart the Eviatar outpost within days but their portable homes will persist and Israeli troops will establish a base in the area.

As per an announcement from regional settler leader Yossi Dagan, the defense ministry has agreed to study land claims to assess the prospect of a future recognized settlement.

Dagan said the agreement had been approved by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.

About 50 Jewish families moved to Eviatar last month, erecting huts, tents and convoys in defiance of international and Israeli law on the lands near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians in the adjacent community of Beita answered with nighttime protests by flashing horns, burning tires and shining laser beams to keep the settlers awake.

Moussa Hamayel, the deputy head of the Beita municipality, told a French news agency that the Palestinian community had “completely rejected” the compromise proposed by the Israelis.

In the unrest sparked by the protests, four Palestinians including a teenager have been killed by Israeli troops.

An earlier version of the outpost, which was named after a Jewish settler fatally stabbed near Beita in 2013, was left by Israeli authorities.

Benny Gantz ordered the settlement removed, but Benjamin Netanyahu, who served for 12 years as prime minister before he was unseated on June 13, froze the decision.

Bennett, who ousted Netanyahu by joining a broad coalition including left-wingers and an Arab party, is the former head of the Yesha Council, a settlers’ lobbying group.

All Jewish settlements in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since 1967, are considered illegal by the vast majority of the international community.

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