The Government Promotes Development and Construction in 70 Illegal Outposts

About a month ago, it was reported in the media that Minister Smotrich instructed government ministries to begin funding construction and development in approximately 70 illegal outposts, but the list of outposts was not published. It now turns out that it is a list of 63 sites that include 70 illegal outposts, some of which were built on private Palestinian land, some are outposts and farms that were source of settler violence against Palestinians, and even those that have led to the expulsion of Palestinian communities in their vicinity.

Peace Now: “The Netanyahu government is essentially calling on settlers to break the law, seize lands, and establish facts on the ground without permits and without any legal process. It supports and assists the most violent and extreme settlers. The lawlessness and violence in the settlements is not a bug, it’s a feature, it’s the main way for the Israeli government to deepen the occupation and Israeli hold on the territories to prevent Israel from having a future of peace and security.”

Over a year ago, on February 12, 2023, the Security Cabinet decided to legalize 10 outposts by establishing 9 new settlements. The Cabinet’s decision also included a clause addressing the legalization of additional outposts by defining them as “Sites Under Legalization,” where the government would invest in construction and development without the required legal process of authorization and planning. The Cabinet authorized the Prime Minister or a minister designated by him to prepare the list of outposts to be defined as “Sites Under Legalization.”
See more details here.

From a letter sent by Minister Smotrich to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Head of the Civil Administration on February 23, 2024, which reached Peace Now, it emerges that the task was assigned to Minister Smotrich, and that the Settlement Administration established within the Civil Administration, compiled a list of 63 sites that include 70 illegal outposts considered “Sites Under Legalization.” The letter states:

“… According to the Cabinet’s decision, the Settlement Administration, in cooperation with the Civil Administration, conducted a comprehensive staff work to formulate the list of sites to be included in the list at this time. … Regarding the sites on the list, all necessary actions must be taken, as stated in Section 2 of the Cabinet’s decision, including dealing with essential and humanitarian infrastructure, security components, and the like. As stated in Section 3 of the Cabinet’s decision, the enforcement priorities regarding the sites on the list should be updated. It should be clarified and emphasized that this does not detract from dealing with sites not on the list. Additionally, this list is not closed, and if necessary, more sites will be added to the list in the future.”

In other words, besides the directive to promote the construction of infrastructure, security components, public buildings, and educational buildings and to provide municipal services to the outposts (as stated in the Cabinet’s decision), the Civil Administration is also instructed to “update the enforcement priorities,” meaning to avoid demolishing the illegal structures in these outposts. It is also noted that additional outposts may be added to this status.

The Illegality of the Decision

The allocation of government resources for illegal construction in outposts in the Territories is prohibited and illegal for several reasons:

1. The establishment of any locality has far-reaching implications for many areas: real estate, transportation, society, environment, development and more. This is why in Israel (as well as in the West Bank) the establishment of any locality must be approved by the government and the highest planning institutions.

2. Establishing settlements in the Occupied Territories has much greater implications due to the political and security ramifications. Such a decision cannot be made without a formal process that includes an explicit government decision and an understanding of the political and security needs associated with such a decision. The Cabinet’s decision to allow development in illegal outposts essentially gave the decision to establish settlements in practice into the hands of the bureaucrats of the “Settlement Administration” without public debate, without a security opinion, and without examining all the implications.

3. It is a reward for criminals and encourages lawbreaking, especially when there is no enforcement or administrative or criminal sanctions on those who are in charge of the illegal construction in settlements. It is a call for settlers to break the law.

4. Perhaps the most serious issue is that the decision concerns only Israelis. The government did not include any Palestinian community from among the hundreds of communities living in Area C in the list of “Sites Under Legalization.” It should be noted that in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the “Regulation Law,” the reason, besides the violation of property rights, was the violation of the right to equality because it applied only to Israelis.

The list of outposts to be funded and developed (download as excel):

Name Additional Name Establishment Year Type Pٌrivate Land Source of Settler Violence
Magen Dan 1999 Outpost
Malachei Hashalom 2015 Farm Yes Yes
Neve Shir – Eli 1996 Outpost Yes
Gva’ot Haroeh Givat Harel 1998 Outpost Partially
Gva’ot Haroeh Haroeh 2002 Outpost Yes
Givat Assaf 2002 Outpost Yes
Ma’aleh Shlomo 1999 Outpost Partially
Neve Erez 2001 Outpost Partially
Ma’ale Hagit Mitzpeh Hagit 1999 Outpost Partially
Esh Kodesh 2000 Outpost Partially Yes
Kida – Yishuv Hada’at Kida 2001 Outpost
Kida – Yishuv Hada’at Yishuv Hada’at 2003 Outpost
Haresha 1997 Outpost
Ahiya 1997 Outpost
Bnei Adam 2004 Outpost
Givat Hachod 468 Givat Granit 2002 Outpost Partially
Adei Ad 1998 Outpost Yes
Mizpe Danny 1999 Outpost Partially
Mitzpe Kramim 2001 Outpost Yes
Neve Achi 2017 Outpost
Sde Efrayim Ras Karkar Farm 2018 Farm
Gadi Base 2018 Outpost
Mordot & Merchavei David Bat Ayin West 2002 Outpost Partially
Tzur Shalem 2001 Outpost
Sde Boaz 2002 Outpost Yes
Givat Hahish 1998 Outpost Partially
Mitzpe Yehuda Tzon Keidar Farm 2019 Farm
Keidar South Old Keidar 2014 Outpost
Pnei Kedem 2002 Outpost Partially
Tko’a D 2002 Outpost Partially
Ma’ale Rehav’am 2002 Outpost
Nativ Ha’avot Derech Ha’avot 2001 Outpost
Rujum Al-Hamri Susiya North West 2001 Outpost Yes
Ma’on Farm 2001 Outpost Yes
Adorayim 2019 Outpost
Mitzpe Yair 1998 Outpost
Givat Hanan Susiya East 2019 Outpost
Avigayil 2001 Outpost
Asa’el 2002 Outpost
Negohot West Mitzpe Lachish 2002 Outpost
Nahalat Ami 1998 Outpost
Beit Hogla Mul Nevo 2001 Outpost
Kedem Arava 2017 Outpost
Har Hemed 1996 Outpost
Ori Ad Givat Hemed 2022 Outpost
Gal Outpost Gal Hill 2002 Outpost Partially
Ramat Gilad 2002 Outpost
Alonei Shilo 1999 Outpost
Yizhar East Lehavat Yizhar 1998 Outpost Yes Yes
Yizhar East Meged Shamayim 2016 Outpost Yes Yes
Yizhar East Mitzpe Yizhar 2002 Outpost Yes Yes
Shalhevet Farm Ahuzat Shalhevet 1999 Outpost Partially Yes
Yizhar South Tkuma Hill 725 2001 Outpost Yes Yes
Yizhar South Kumi Ori 2014 Outpost Yes Yes
Gva’ot Olam 1998 Farm
Yanoach Hill Hill 836 1998 Outpost Partially
Givat Ronen Sneh Yaacov 1999 Outpost Partially Yes
Or Ha’orot Hill 851 1998 Outpost Partially
Alumot Farm Hill 782 1999 Farm
Dir Raban Hahar 1998 Outpost Partially
Shaharit 2015 Farm
Givat Arnon Hill 777 1999 Outpost
Gilad Farm 2002 Outpost Yes Yes
Yetedot Farm 2018 Farm Yes
Maoz Tzvi Emek Dotan Farm 2001 Outpost
Kfar Tapuah West 2001 Outpost
Evyatar 2021 Outpost Yes
Skali’s Farm Porat Yossef 1999 Farm
Homesh 2017 Outpost Yes
Havat Yair 2001 Outpost Partially