“In Bethlehem Governorate”
Expansion of two Outposts…….New outpost installed in Bethlehem Governorate

“In Bethlehem Governorate” <br> Expansion of two Outposts…….New outpost installed in Bethlehem Governorate

From the early morning of March 6, 2013, the Israeli bulldozers started razing the Palestinian lands in Khirbet Al-Khoukh area south of Artas village west of Bethlehem Governorate. According to the Municipality of Artas the area of the targeted lands exceeds 100 dunums and owned by residents from Abu Swai local family. In a geopolitical analysis conducted by the Geoinformatics Department at the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem- ARIJ the land leveling that taking place in the aforementioned site is the northern part of Giv’at Hadagan neighborhood (outpost) which is located inside the master plan of the illegal nearby settlement of Efrat. See Map 1:

Map 1: the illegal outpost “Giv’at Hadagan” West of Bethlehem

Giv’at Hadagan is an illegal settlement outpost established in the year 1995 inhabited by dozens of Israeli religious settlers. It is located in the far north of the illegal settlement of Efrat.Later on and on December 2011, the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction issued tenders for the construction of 40 housing units in Giv’at Hadagan instead of the 40 illegal caravans that was installed in the site in the year 2000, where as mentioned before the construction of the 40 housing units is a part of a larger plan to build more than 500 housing units n the new neighborhood which is awaiting of the final approval of the Defense Minister before issuing tenders for marketing and construction. Today, the construction of the aforementioned 40 housing units had been finished while the Israeli authorities are preparing to the construction of the remaining 460 housing units in the site. See Photos 1 & 2 


Expansion of Sede Bo’az Outpost in Al-Khader West of Bethlehem

  • February, 4, 2014: Israeli Occupation Army (IOA) dismantled a military observation tower in Um Mohammaden in Um Rukba area, south of Al-Khader Town in Bethlehem Governorate and set up two mobile homes and caravans in the site to expand the illegal settlement outpost of Sde Bo’az that was erected in the year 2002 on the Palestinian lands owned by the local residents from Al-Khader town.
  • February 27, 2014: Israeli vehicles related to the Occupation Army Forces set up two mobile homes on Palestinian land in Ein Qasis area, west of Al-Khader town, west of Bethlehem city, and near the illegal outpost of Sde Boaz. The targeted land is owned by the local resident Khader Ali Abu Ghaloun.
  • February 28, 2014: Israeli Occupation Authorities claimed their intention to implement the decision of the Israeli High Court of Justice to evacuate and remove four mobile homes set up by Israeli settlers living in Sde Boaz outpost on Palestinian land owned by Mohammed Abdullah Al-Subeih from Al-Khader town.
  • March 4, 2014:The Israeli vehicles continued the installing of new caravans in the outpost of Sde Bo’az despite the Israeli Supreme Court decision. See Aerial Photo of Sde Boaz Settlement and Photos below:  
  •  Photo 3: Aerial photo of Sde Bo’az settlement outpost in Bethlehem Governorate



    Photos 3-6: installing of new caravans in the outpost of Sde Bo’az

New Outpost in Khallet Al-Nahle South of Bethlehem Governorate

The story of the new outpost started in late October 2013, when a herd of Israeli settlers stationed on a hilltop in Khallet Al-Nahle community southwest of Bethlehem Governorate and started to install a tent and water tank electricity lines and other infrastructure in an attempt to settle in the site. Few days later the Israeli Occupation Army dismantle the tent in the site and called the settlers to leave the area but the Israeli settlers reinstalled the tent and settled in the site and on January 20, 2014 the settlers installed a new additional caravan in the outpost.

It is worth mention that the site of the new outpost are very close to the houses Khallet Al-Nahle where the Israeli authorities claimed that they called on the Israeli settlers to evacuate the area since the new illegal outpost erected on a private Palestinian lands while the Israeli settlers did not comply to their authorities until the date of writing this report. See Photos below:

Photos 7 & 8 : proximity of the new outpost to Palestinian Built-up area in Khallet Al-Nahle

Khallet Al –Nahle is a Palestinian community located south of Bethlehem Governorate. It is bordered by Artas town from the north, Ath-Thabra village from the south, the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat as well as the Segregation Wall from the west, Khallet Al-Louza from the east.

To Conclude

Israeli construction and expansion for the Illegal settlements and their outpost contradicts with the International law rules and conventions:-

  • Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: 'No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.' Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
  • Moreover, articles 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 indicated that:Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. is a grave breach of the Convention.
  • Also Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides:In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.
  • Article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement Israelis forbidden from building or planning to any project or settlements or any colonial expansion or any plan that lead to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The article provides “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations”.

The existence of the Israeli settlements and outposts in the West Bank and their expansions are Illegal and contradicts with the international law rules, United Nations Security Council Resolutions such as 237 (1967), 271 (1969), 446 (1979), 452 (1979) ,465 (1980.

  • Resolution 446 March 22, 1979 calls on Israel to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories"
  • Also the resolution 452 of the 1979 “calls upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.”
  • Furthermore the Forth Geneva Convention also states in Article 49 that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.” and Article 174 of the same convention “prohibits the 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”
  • In May 2001, the head of the International Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories said that settlements are "equal in principle to war crimes". (Note: "The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a 'grave breach.' It's a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes", Rene Kosirnik, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the OPT, press conference 17 May 2001).

Prepared By  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlements