Uncertain Probability, Will Israel Ever Evacuate the Settlements’ Outposts ??

Uncertain Probability, Will Israel Ever Evacuate the Settlements’ Outposts ??


In March 2005, the Israeli government attorney Talia Sason submitted a report on the status of established Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank territory upon the request of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The report acknowledged more than 125 outpost and that they were established with the indirect support of many Israeli ministries who disregarded the Israeli judicial counselors decision to stop all indirect financial support to these outposts.


Sason also indicated in her report that all the outposts in the West Bank are 'illegal', contrary to the contention of Sahoul Goldstein 'The Chairman of the Council of the Israeli Settlements', who claimed that all the established outposts are only neighborhoods of the Israeli settlements.


On the other hand, an analysis of satellite images conducted by the GIS (Geographical Information System) unit at the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem ARIJ showed locations of 217 outposts spread throughout the West Bank. Furthermore, the bulk of these outposts were established in the years between 2002 and 2004 and are concentrated in the central and southern parts of the West Bank, mostly in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Hebron governorates.  


It’s worth mentioning that, the land on which the settlements and outposts were are owned by Palestinians, and were appropriated by the Israeli government based on Israeli military and emergency laws.


All Talk and No Action

Almost 18 months passed by since the 'Sason' report was issued and still Israel equivocate and deferring the dismantle of the outposts in the West Bank; even though few attempts were carried out but were not seen through all he way; as the Israeli settlers relocated the location of the outposts dismantled elsewhere or have reestablished the location site. 


In June 16, 2006 the Israeli Defense Minister A'meer Peretz, declared that the preparations had been set to evacuate from a number of “illegal” outposts in the West Bank, but he did not specify a date to start the evacuation, pending the political institution decision to approve the dismantling operation. For more clarification, see Map 1:


In June 27, 2006, the Israeli security establishment declared that the plans to carry out the evacuation of the outposts will be postponed on the count of the Gaza happenings, which started June 25.


Legal and International Status

Israel has long tried to cast a shadow of legitimacy on the settlements build in the territory occupied during the 1967 war despite the fact that the international laws and the UNSC has identified the settlements and all other Israeli civilian related activates to be illegal and void. On the other side, the consecutive Israeli governments considers the lands captured in the 1967 war to be disputed and not occupied lands and that the regulations of the Fourth Geneva Convention Accord of 1949 do not apply to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These regulations prohibit confiscation of land for purposes other than security. In practice however, the UNSCR identified the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war as an occupied territories.


The Israeli outposts are no different than the Israeli settlements, they are both illegal and there is no doubt or exceptions to their status regardless of the location and the size of these mutant cells. It also became clear that the newly elected (April 2006), Israeli government headed by Olmert has no intention to come in compliance with the international law as the Israeli government plans to proceeed with the same unilateral disengagement policy adopted by its predecessor, as to evacuate locations occupied by Israeli settlers and hand them back to the Israeli Army either to release the locations for the Palestinian Authority to take control of like what happened in Gaza in 2005 or to stay under the Israeli Army control as the northern West Bank settlements; possibly for future negotiations.



1.     (June 16, 2006). بيرتس يصدر تعليمات باستكمال الاستعدادات لإخلاء ما يسمى 'البؤر الإستيطانية غير القانونية'. Retrieved August 8, 2006, from عرب 48 Web site: http://www.arabs48.com/print.x?cid=11&id=37360

2.     (June 27, 2006). تأجيل إخلاء البؤر الإستيطانية 'غير القانونية' في الضفة الغربية… Retrieved August 8, 2006, from عرب 48 Web site: http://www.arabs48.com/print.x?cid=11&id=37601



Prepared by
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Reports