JERUSALEM, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Israeli settlers said on Monday that they built a Yeshiva (Jewish seminary) in Homesh, an outpost in the occupied West Bank that was dismantled by Israel in 2005.
The Yeshiva was erected in "a secret operation" overnight to avoid clashes with Palestinians, the settlers said in a statement.
Homesh is one of the four unpermitted outposts in the northern West Bank, which were evacuated at the same time as the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
In March, the Israeli parliament repealed the 2005 act, lifting a ban that barred Israelis from re-entering the areas.
In a video posted on social media, settler leader Yossi Dagan dedicated the one-floor construction with a prayer alongside other settler leaders, expressing hope that the three other evacuated outposts would be rebuilt.
Cabinet ministers praised the move. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a prominent settler leader, hailed it as "an exciting historic moment" in a statement, while Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Israel Katz described it as "an important and valid" move.
The defense ministry and military did not immediately comment on the issue.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war. Since then, Israel has populated the area with more than half a million Jewish residents. The international community considers the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories illegal. Homesh, located partially on private Palestinian land, is considered illegal also under Israeli law.
However, ministers in Israel's new far-right government have stated their intention to legalize Homesh.
The new construction, coming during a period of rising tensions in the region, is likely to further fuel anger among the Palestinians.