Israeli settler outposts in occupied West Bank booming since 2017

Published 24.07.2019 00:12

According to Peace Now, most of the new outposts are farms that aim to take over large tracts of land at the expense of Palestinians and are often publicly funded. Other cases included the creation of educational institutions and tourist sites that receive funding from their respective government ministries. "Most of the illegal construction is carried out in an organized manner by officials and with extensive funding from the public coffers," the group said.

Scores of settlement outposts dot the occupied West Bank in addition to over 120 established settlements. The outposts are located "from the regional council in the southern Hebron Hills to the northern West Bank, the Jordan Valley, Mateh Binyamin Regional Council and Gush Etzion," as reported by Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Over time, outposts often grow into neighborhoods of nearby settlements or into full-fledged settlements of their own.

Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestinians seek these areas as parts of a future state. Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law and an impediment to a two-state solution to the conflict.

Palestinians have long argued that Israeli settlements could deny them a viable and contiguous state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced President Trump's peace efforts last year as the "slap of the century" as the U.S. recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital, along with the cancellation of hundreds of millions of dollars in American aid to Palestinians, have prompted the Palestinians to cut off ties with the White House. Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, all territory captured by Israel in 1967.

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