Israel helping to build new settlements

A new Israeli report has exposed the government's active role in the construction of unauthorised settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.

    Settlement outposts are being expanded in violation of law

    The Maariv daily on Tuesday said the report, commissioned by the Israeli prime minister's office, sharply contradicts the claim that Israel is committed to dismantling unauthorised settlement outposts as agreed in the 2003 road map plan.
    It finds that despite specific laws against the expansion of settlements and the establishment of unauthorised outposts, Israel's Defence Ministry, the Housing and Construction Ministry and the Jewish Agency's Settlement Division played specific roles in their development.
    Often, the lands on which the outposts are built are privately owned by Palestinians. The report recommends "to stop allocating lands until an in-depth examination of the nature of the rights to the land is conducted".

    Government collusion
    The Israeli report was compiled by attorney Talia Sasson, former director of the criminal prosecution department in the State Attorney's office.

    In it, she details the methods used in the establishment of outposts, beginning with the placement of an antenna to the paving of a dirt road and the establishment of basic infrastructure preparing the way for trailers and settlers.
    Moreover, the system obliged the military to participate in the scheme by requiring outposts to be guarded even though they were built illegally.
    Sasson says in the report that "no one seriously intends to enforce the law. It seems as if the violation of the law has become institutional and institutionalised".
    The report further details how the Housing and Construction Ministry used government money to buy trailers used to settle the unauthorised outposts.
    Sasson says in 2003 some $7.5 million was taken from the state budget to acquire trailers for the outposts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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