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News :: International
Under Likud, illegal outposts received NIS 70 million to Build ....on Palestinian Land
by Akiva Eldar
08 Jun 2005
The Housing Ministry allocated at least NIS 70 million
to build infrastructure and erect public structures in
82 illegal outposts in the West Bank during the prime
ministerial terms of Benjamin Netanyahu (1996-1999)
and Ariel Sharon (2001-2004), Haaretz has learned from
an appendix to attorney Talia Sasson's report on the
The document also shows that most of the illegal
outposts reported by Sasson were established on
privately owned Palestinian land.
According to the Sasson report's appendix, 15 of the
outposts are located entirely on private land; 39 are
partially on private land and partially on state-owned
land, or on land whose ownership rights are in
question; and 26 lie entirely on state-owned land.
Sasson writes in the appendix that an outpost built
even partially on privately owned Palestinian land
cannot retroactively receive legal status.
As a result, 54 of the 87 outposts reviewed - out of a
total of 105 outposts - are "irreparable," the
The figures in the appendix, correct for June 2004,
reveal that the funds were allocated to 753 families
and a few dozen bachelors and students who settled in
61 illegal outposts during Netanyahu's term in office,
and another 600 individuals who settled in outposts
that were established during Sharon's period as prime
minister and are slated for immediate evacuation
according to the road map peace plan.
The appendix also reports that five outposts that were
set up during Yitzhak Rabin's term as prime minister
received more than NIS 10 million in funding. Sasson
writes that in addition to the 87 outposts about which
she managed to accumulate data, there are another 18
outposts about which no clear figures exist.
The sums noted in the appendix do not include tens of
millions of shekels allocated to the outposts by the
Defense Ministry, the World Zionist Organization
Settlement Division, regional councils and donors from
Israel and abroad. The World Zionist Organization did
not furnish data on the funds it invested in the
outposts and said only that it funded initial
encampments, planning, production means and
The Housing Ministry allocated the largest sum - NIS
5.2 million for infrastructure and NIS 750,000 for
public structures - to the Nof Harim outpost that was
set up in 1995 when Labor MK Benjamin Ben-Eliezer held
the position of housing minister. The outpost was
established in part on privately owned Palestinian
land - without the approval of the cabinet, the
defense minister or planning and building authorities.
The same year saw the unauthorized establishment, also
on private Palestinian land, of two outposts in the
Ofra-Beit El area - Pisgat Yaakov and Emunah. In the
initial years after their establishment, these two
outposts received funding to the tune of more than NIS
6 million, half of which came from the Housing
Ministry. The Horsha outpost, set up that same year on
land whose ownership has yet to be determined,
received NIS 1.56 million from the Housing Ministry.
Sasson writes that the Migron outpost, set up in May
2001 and slated last year for evacuation, lies
entirely on land belonging to the adjacent Palestinian
villages of Ein Yabrud and Burka. The Housing Ministry
spent more than NIS 3.5 million on infrastructure and
NIS 800,000 on public buildings for Migron.
The Israel Electric Corporation said it connected
Migron to the electricity grid after it received
misleading information from the Civil Administration
on the legal status of the outpost. The Mekorot
national water utility reported that the Matte
Binyamin Regional Council had requested the
installation of the water system at the site.
According to a Peace Now report, some 1,834 dunams, or
457 acres, of built-up area or area-under-development
were added to settlements in 2004. The same year saw
the publication of government tenders for the
construction of 962 housing units on settlements.
Building sites in 21 settlements lie outside the
existing built-up areas of the communities.
This work is in the public domain