'Israel funding illegal settlements'

Israeli authorities are helping to finance illegal settlements in the Palestinian West Bank when they are actually obligated to tear them down.

    An armed colonist patrols his illegal West Bank settlement

    According to a report published by the Israeli daily Haaretz on Thursday, various ministries have also turned a blind eye to scores of new unauthorised colonies.

    The study, commissioned by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, found that government ministries handed over millions of dollars to help finance their infrastructure.

    The education ministry paid for nurseries and their teachers, the energy ministry connected outposts to the electricity grid while the government also shelled out for the construction of roads, the report said.

    It also detailed how senior army officers "reached quiet understandings" to allow the outposts to be established and how occupation soldiers still guard them.

    Author comment

    The report's author, former justice ministry official Talia Sasson, wrote that vague definitions of the boundaries of authorised settlements were exploited by the architects of the outposts.

    Construction on some outposts
    has continued unabated

    Observers have estimated that nearly 100 of the illegal outposts are still in place despite repeated assurances by Israel to its US allies that they would all be removed in line with the terms of the troubled road map for peace blueprint.

    The outposts are generally set up as makeshift settlements with caravans but are often later "legalised" by the authorities.

    All Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered by many in the international community to be illegal.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.