A New Israeli outpost on lands of Beit Sahour city

A New Israeli outpost on lands of Beit Sahour city

On April 8, 2008, the Israeli Haaretz Daily newspaper published that a group of the Israeli right wing activists called 'Developing Har Shamuel Settlement' along with settlers of the Gush Etzion regional council are planning to establish a new Israeli outpost on remains of an evacuated Israeli military base east of Beit Sahour. The settlers and activists marched towards the site in an attempt to prevent the Israeli Army from demolishing the remaining barracks that are still standing there under the pretext that the Israeli Civil Administration any should authorize any demolition process.


Ush Ghurab Site

The area were the Israeli military base existed is locally known as 'Ush Ghurab' (Shdemah as the Israeli Army called it). It lies to the east of Beit Sahour city, on a mountainous area stretching over tens of dunums of open spaces. The site is bordered from three directions (south, west and north) by Palestinian built-up area, while it is bordered by Za'tara bypass road from the east. The site was used by several administrations before it was occupied by the Israeli Army in 1967 as headquarter for the British Mandate troops and later on by the Jordanian Forces. However, the area that defines of the Israeli military base today is much larger than it used to be before 1967; as the Israeli forces confiscated more Palestinian lands throughout the years of occupation to increase the area of the military base.  See Map 1



Following the eruption of second Intifada in September 2000, the camp was the launching point of repeated attacks against Palestinians and properties in the city of Beit Sahour.


On April 27, 2006, and in a surprising move, the Israeli Occupation Forces evacuated the base. Heavy Equipments existed at the site were moved to another Israeli Military base located southeast of Beit Sahour City called 'Herodion Base', in Al Furdeis area. However, the evacuated site was not handed over to the Palestinian site at that same time.  


Developing Ush Ghurab Area

Soon after the Israeli withdrawal from Ush Ghurab area in 2006, the Municipality of Beit Sahour presented a plan to the Israeli Civil Administration in Bethlehem Governorate to reclaim the land to develop it with constructive and productive projects after it was long used to subjugate the people in the governorate. The area where the camp existed is located within Zone 'C' which under Oslo II agreements requires the Municipality to acquire authorization from the Israeli Civil Administration. Months later, the ICA granted the license to Beit Sahour Municipality to proceed with the projects, which include a hospital, Youth center, Public Park, Environmental Center, recreational center, cultural center in addition to Parking lot. These projects are planned to establish to utilize specified area of the targeted land (see table 1) as for the remaining area, it is set to remain under the Israeli Army’s control where no Palestinian construction is allowed.


Table 1: Plan presented by Beit Sahour Municipality


Type of Construction

Area in Dunums





Nazereth Village



Youth Center



Public Park






Water Station



Environmental Center



Sport Center








Source: Beit Sahour Municipality


The development plan presented by Beit Sahour is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) who inaugurated the first Stage of the project on the 12 of February 2008 by instating the Public park to benefit people of Beit Sahour city and the surrounding communities.


To Conclude

Throughout the years, the Israeli settlers' repeatedly attempted to recapture Ush Ghurab site to construct an outpost, particularly during the last year. The following lists some of these repeated attempts to recapture the location and to establish new outposts in the West Bank.

  • On May 6, 2007, dozens of Israeli settlers working under the protection of the Israeli Army set-up tents on Al Jomjuma hilltop northeast of Hebron city in an attempt to construct an outpost. The hilltop is owned by the families of Mer'ib, Mansour and 'Emran.

  • On July 13, 2007, hundreds of Israeli settlers tried to establish a new outpost in Al Midya village near Ramallah.

  • On July 23, 2007, The Israeli settlers took over 13 dunums of lands in Yatta town south of Hebron city and started to lay down the infrastructure to construct a new outpost under the protection of the Israeli Army.

  • On July 2007, hundreds of Israeli settlers tried to take over lands in Artas village to construct a new outpost in the area.

  • On August 12, 2007, The Israeli settlers attempted to construct a new outpost near Qiryat Arba' settlement in Hebron Governorate.

  • On December 1, 2008, Israeli right wing activists attempted to construct three new outposts, the first in Maoz Ister in Ramallah, and the second in Giv’at Oz near Beit El in Ramallah, and the third in the E-1 plan near Ma’ale Adumim settlement’s area.

  • On December 5, 2007, tens of Israeli settlers tried to take over Al Jomjuma hill north of Halhul town in Hebron Governorate in an attempt to construct a new outpost in the area.

  • On December 9, 2007, Jewish Settlers' groups marched towards several locations in the West Bank to set up nine new outposts in the West Bank. The outposts are:

1.     Harchivi, near Elon Moreh in Nablus Governorate;

2.     Shvut Ami, near Kedumim in Salfit Governorate;

3.     Maoz Esther (Esther's Stronghold), near Kochav HaShachar in Ramallah Governorate;

4.     Givat Ha'Or ('Hilltop of the Light'), 1.5 km south of Beit El settlement in Ramallah Governorate;

5.     Mevasseret Adumim outpost, located in E1 area in Jerusalem  Governorate;

6.     Nofei Hashmona'im, near Hashmona'im settlement in Ramallah Governorate;

7.     Ma'alot Halhul, near Kiryat Arba in Hebron Governorate;

8.     Netzer, near Alon Shvut in Bethlehem Governorate;

9.     Givat HaEitam, located near Efrat settlement, already established in Bethlehem Governorate.

  • On November 5, 2007, Israeli Settlers tried for the forth time to construct Shuvt 'Ami outpost near Kedumim settlement north of the West Bank.

  • On October 25, 2007, Israeli settlers returned to the evacuated outpost 'Shevut 'Ami' west of Nablus city after being evacuated by the IOF some time ago.

  • On January 25, 2008, settlers of Hananal Sa’r Yashof constructed a new agricultural outpost “Yashof Sde Boa’z”, one kilometer away from Neve Danyiel settlement southwest of Bethlehem. The targeted area is planted with Vines and Wheat. The targeted area aims to create a geographical contiguity between Har Gilo and Gush Etzion bloc.

  • On March 18, 2008, Israeli settlers from Eli‘zer settlement (south of Bethlehem) constructed a 100 m² structure on 14 dunums area in Al Dahr area in Al Khader village to construct a new outpost.

  • On April 13, 2008, Israeli settlers of Shilo celebrated the inauguration of a new house in Giv'at Har'il outpost.

  • On April 14, 2008, Israeli settlers of Ma'on tried to construct a new outpost 'Havat Ma'on' on a hilltop east of Yatta town south of Hebron city.



Prepared by 
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem