Unraveling the Mechanism behind Illegal Outposts

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Since the mid-1990s, the settlers established nearly 100 illegal outposts and built dozens of neighborhoods and illegal projects in many settlements. In 2015 alone 15% of the units constructed in the settlements was illegal. During the past year, Settlement Watch conducted extensive research on illegal construction in settlements and outposts. The data collected exposed a process parallel to the official planning process in the settlements – that of illegal construction. This parallel process is what allows for thousands of housing units to remain on the ground, and be connected to roads and infrastructure.

Peace Now’s study reveals that three main bodies operate this parallel and illegal process: (1) Settlement Regional Councils, (2) Settlement Division and (3) Amana. The Israeli government enables the illegal system to exist by cooperating directly with these three bodies, by abstaining from law enforcement or prosecution, and by retroactively legalizing the illegal constructions.

Through this illegal mechanism, Israeli governments have allowed a small group of settlers to set Israel’s settlement policy and thereby determine the future of Israel.

Main Stages of Illegal Outpost Development:

1. Creating facts on the ground through mobile homes or a road

2. Acquiring fictitious “rights” to the land

3. Financing and creating plans without the need for approvals

4. Issuing fictitious construction permits

5. Financing and building illegal infrastructure with taxpayers’ money

6. Selling illegal housing units and making profits at the expense of the state

7. Ensuring the maintenance and development of the illegal outposts

8. Strengthening illegal outpost with the help of Amana – “the mother and father of the settlements”

9. Retroactively legalizing illegal construction

10. No enforcement and no prosecution

Key Bodies Involved in Illegal Construction:

Settler Regional Councils

The Settlement Division

The Amana Organization

Fund construction plans for illegal construction from governmental sources and additional sources

Issue fictitious construction permits for infrastructure and housing units, which are required in order to connect to infrastructure networks and receive mortgages

Pay for infrastructure, public buildings and services from taxpayers money

Provides documents granting rights to lands which are not under its management, including private Palestinian lands

Does not charge for lands it allocates, which the general public could have gained from

Grants budgets for illegal planning and construction

Constructs and markets illegal homes while collecting enormous profits

 Raises government funding for its work

Charges “commission” from public institutions for lobbying services

 Lobbies the government for the retroactive legalization of illegal construction

Receives tax deductible donations for illegal outposts through a non-profit it owns

For the full report click here

For a summary of the report click here