The Epidemic of Israeli Outposts

The Epidemic of Israeli Outposts

In spite of all the efforts employed by the international community to deploy peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; Israel still persists with its long adopted policy to create facts on the ground, even if it meant violating the international laws.


Following the 1967 war, Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and initiated a settlement program in the Occupied Territories for its citizens in an explicit violation of the international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 (Article 49: The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.)



Today, the Israeli settlers' population in the occupied West Bank (including Jerusalem) and Gaza exceeds 435,000, living in more than 310 concentrations of Israeli settlements. However, in 1996, the Israeli settlers sponsored a new phenomenon which later-on became known as ''outposts''; which is identified as a group of Israeli settlers taking control of Palestinian hilltops located in close perimeter of an existing Israeli settlement (identified as ''Mother settlement'') and are setting-up few caravans for Israeli settlers. The consecutive Israeli governments did not officially sanction the outposts' sites; but it certainly indulged them. The government provided them with military protection and infrastructure services, in addition to occasional financial support. Moreover, as years past by; many existing outposts has grown into settlements and the number of outposts kept growing to a record high in 2004 to 117 outpost even with the over-debated dismantle of these outposts in different areas of the West Bank.    even with the over-debated dismantle of these outposts in different areas of the West Bank.   


Israel apathy of the international law and various peace initiatives reflects nothing but Israel commitment to its colonization plan of the Palestinian occupied territories, which more over became supported by the Segregation Wall built to encompass the majority of the Israeli settlements and outposts. Consequently, by creating what they believe to be 'irreversible facts on the ground' to dictate their own terms to any potential peace agreement with the Palestinians, Israel aims to put an end to any prospect of a viable Palestinian State over occupied territories of 1967.



The following Ariel photos released by Americans for Peace Now (APN) clearly displays the development of two example outposts locations between the years 2002 and 2004 north & northwest of the West Bank; Palgei Mayim outpost, located near ''Eli'' settlement and east of ''Ariel'' settlement: See Photo 1 & Photo 2 &




and Bruchin outpost, located northeast Peduel settlement. See Photo 3 & photo 4 




Both outposts were illegally established in the year 1999 when Israeli settlers lodged trailers; allegedly they had no consents from the Israeli government; however, the Israeli Army provided them with protection as they moved on to Palestinian lands where they placed the trailers. See location Map

In 2002, settlers living at Palgei Mayim & Bruchin outpost commenced preparation of infrastructure to replace trailers at the outpost sites with permanent ones. Even though, the consecutive governments of Israel did not concede the outposts, it never really did anything to stop them; on the contrary, it provided the Israeli settlers with protection. Few years down the road, the government would usually grant authorization for the outpost including financial support.


The photographs clearly show the gradual development of the outpost sites from the year 2002 to its current standing.  Furthermore, Israel has exhibited no signs of closing the chapter on the outposts issue or dismantling any of them for that matter; on the contrary, Israel continues to informally encourage its settlers to continue; their outposts policy for what it represent as a future possible location of a new settlement or a territorial periphery for an existing one. The Israeli settlers latest edition to the outpost status include one outpost north of occupied West Bank on the hilltops of the Palestinians Einyabous village and another southwest of the WB near the Palestinian town ''Dora''. Apparently Israel is not complying with the international community standpoint of the outposts' status as an illegal act of the law and an explicit violation of the peace process as it (the government of Israel) continues to feed these outposts and provide them with the protection of the Israeli Army.


Related case studies

1.     New settlement outposts are still erected, August 2003

2.     Dismantling or reallocating, June 2003.

3.     Israel's Latest Colonization Activities: 24 new settlements and 113 new outposts in the west Bank, October 2002.

4.    Outposts, the Unripe settlements January 17, 2004






Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Settlement Expansion