Knesset approves a law recognizing outposts

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj/ NBPRS/

The e   National   Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements (NBPRS) stated in its latest weekly report, that under the Deal of the Century, the Knesset approved last week in preliminary reading a draft law to recognize outposts in the West Bank, asking the relevant Israeli occupation ministries to provide electricity, roads, water, telecommunications, transportation and all necessary services to them. Knowing that the successive governments in Israel have financed these outposts either directly and/or indirectly, jointly with the settlement associations, such as, the “Hill 387” group that was established by the “Harroya Ha’ifari Association”, which receives constant funds from the Ministry of Education annually .

Human Rights’ reports issued by anti-settlement Israeli civil society organizations showed that the Israeli government has contributed to the construction of at least 14 outposts since 2011, while currently discusses the legalization of about 130 outposts in various West Bank’s Governorates including the Jordan Valley, where about 10.000 settlers are staying there, the great majority of whom call them “Youth Hills”, whose main goal is terrorizing the Palestinians, executing crimes of “paying the price”, attacking the Palestinians, destroying their agricultural crops and preventing them from accessing their lands. The law stated that the government will grant legal status and legitimize settlement outposts under a decision issued by the inner-cabinet in 2017.

Not only the government pledges to finance the establishment of settlement outposts, but the settlements councils are also funding the establishment of such outposts, and asking the occupation government to legalize them. It was noted that the Gush Etzion settlement Council handed over NIS 1.6 million in 2018 and 2019 in order to develop illegal settlement outposts, where NIS 900,000 were allocated for the development of the “Hafat Rouaih” outpost ‘the pastoral farm’. In recent years, the ‘Hafat Roumais’ has become a model for the development of settlements and random sites in the West Bank because their influence is greater than their size. According to sources of the National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement , the Gush Etzion settlement Council spent large sums to buy a truck, build a ‘Hafat Nahel Halts’ site, and agricultural tools.

This approach to legalize the settlement outposts coincides with the approval of one of the biggest settlement plans in the occupied Jerusalem proposed by the occupation municipality to establish 8600 new settlement units, where the occupation government seems to use the last days of Trump’s rule to create a de facto on the ground to help open a future political track in any future negotiations, the occupation municipality presented this plan to the Local Organization and Construction Committee.

The plan includes the building of a large number of housing units, modernize the industrial zone of Talbot and build a range of 30-story multi-purpose towers, including towers for administrative, technical and office functions in the green zone extending from the lands of Beit Safafa, Al-Malha, Al-Baqaa and the new industrial zone of Talbot to Al-Walajeh village. This is to remove the green line between East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem. The seriousness of the settlement plan is that it extends from 2021 to 2040 and includes the implementation of public places, such as, gardens, interior gardens, squares, streets, and market, shaded streets with bike paths, seating and rest areas as well.