“Retroactively” Legalizing of +700 Housing units in Four Illegal Settlements in the oPt

Legalizing of +700 Housing units in Four Illegal Settlements in the oPt

On October 29, 2015 , the Israeli media revealed that the Israeli Civil Administration related to the Israeli Defense Ministry , retroactively, approved “ zoning plans” for an existing 715 housing units in four illegal settlements in the West Bank. The new approvals including the legalizing of 337 housing units in the settlement of Yakir, 94 housing units in the settlement of Shilo, 187 housing units in the settlement of Itamar and 97 housing units in Sensana settlement located in the southern parts of the West Bank.

According to the Israeli Jerusalem post newspaper, the Israeli new approvals came after a “request and lobbying” from “ Yossi Dagan, the head of what is so-called “Shomron Regional Council”  (Regional council for northern West Bank Settlements). See map 1 below:

Map1 : Locations for Yakir, Shilo, Itamar and Sensana settlements


Yakir settlement is located about12 km away from the 1949 Armistice line (Green Line) and about 9.5 km northwest of Salfit city. It is established on Palestinian lands confiscated from Deir Istiya village (northwest of the city) in 1981. The settlement occupies an area of 670 dunums and houses 1463 Israeli settlers.

Shilo , is an illegal Israeli settlements located far south of Nablus and southeast of Salfit. It is surrounded by the illegal settlements of Eli, Ma’aleh Levona and Shuvut Rahel illegal settlements. Shilo was founded in late 1970s and inhabited by about 2500 illegal settler.

Itamar , is an Israeli religious settlement located to the south east of the city of Nablus and adjacent to the Palestinian town of Beit Furik. The settlement of Itamar located in a corridor that interrupt the geographical contiguity between the Palestinian communities of ‘Awarta, Beit Furik, Yanoun and Rujeib. Itamar was founded in the year 1984 and occupies an area of exceeds 3500 dunums. See map 2 below:

Map 2: Illegal settlements of Yakir-Shilo- Itamar


Sensana , is an illegal Israeli settlement located  far south west of Hebron Governorate. It is located in the area between the green Line (Armistice Line of 1949 and the Segregation Wall path. It was founded in late 1990s , occupied an area about 300 dunums with a population exceed 350 settler. See map 3 below:-

Map 3: The Illegal settlement of Sensana


Settlement Name

Date of Est.


Population 2011





















Source :ARIJ Database 2015


It is worth mentioning that on the 28th of November 2011, the Israeli Government ratified the construction of 119 new housing units in Shilo settlement, of which 50 were already built in the settlement and were awaiting Government's approval.

Moreover, and on of February 22, 2012 , the Israeli Civil Administration was about to give the green light for the construction of 500 new housing units in the Settlement of Shilo and another 125 new housing units in the settlement of Shevut Rahel, both located in Nablus Governorate.

Netanyahu approved a new “Urban Plan” for the Illegal Religious Settlement of Itamar

On October 23, 2015, the Israeli Yedot Ahranot daily newspaper revealed on Netanyahu’s approval for significant expansion for the illegal settlement of Itamar south east of the city of Nablus. According to the newspaper, the Israeli Prime Minister decision came following a protest in front of his house . The aforementioned plan retroactively approves buildings that are already standing in Itamar and further grants permits for the construction of schools, kindergartens and other public institutions.

To Conclude

Israel is moving forward with its colonial and expansionist projects in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) through reinforcing the existence of the illegal settlements, outposts, and other colonial structures in the occupied West Bank.

The  existence of the Israeli settlements 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 since 1967 including east Jerusalem.
  • United Nation Security Council Resolution 452 of 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 occupied Territory since 1967, including Jerusalem.'
  • Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949: 'the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the Territory it occupies.'
  • The Roadmap of Peace signed on April 30, 2003  between Israel and the Palestinians (originally developed by the United States, in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations (the Quartet)) under which the Israeli Government agreed to freeze all settlement, indicated that: The -Government of Israel- immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001, and, consistent with the Mitchell Report, [Government of Israel] freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).The plan was adopted by the USCR 1515-2003.
  • The Fourth Geneva Convention in Article 174 also prohibits the 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly'.

Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem



Categories: Settlement Expansion