Promotion of settlements, legalization of outposts, settler violence, and more urgent developments in the West Bank

The Israeli government has announced the advancement of 1,000 housing units in the settlement of Eli. Peace Now’s Settlement Watch team shows the advancement is in regards to two outposts, HaYovel and Nof Harim. At the same time, the military and the State did not prevent the establishment of a new outpost called “HaMor,” located between the Givat Levona settlement and the Givat HaRoeh outpost, on lands of the villages Luban al-Sharqiya and Sinjil.

In addition, dozens of settlers entered illegally the Evyatar outpost, near the Zaatra (Tapuach) Junction, on the night of June 20-21, 2023, and declared their intention to stay. The army has allowed them to remain and granted free access to the outpost. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to legalize the outpost and not evacuate it.

These actions occur while hundreds of settlers participated in pogroms against Palestinians following the terror attack that killed 4 Israelis and two days after the Higher Planning Council published information about the advancement of 4,799 units throughout the West Bank, including the retroactive legalization of an additional outpost in the Eli settlement area (Palgei Maim). In addition, and according to media reports, five additional outposts have been established today (23.06) in the occupied West Bank, and to date, not a single one has been evacuated by the IDF.  It appears that, from the Prime Minister to the settlers, there are no barriers or constraints in disregarding Palestinian lives and promoting settlements in the occupied territories. 

Peace Now: “Netanyahu’s government’s complicity in allowing and supporting settler outposts fuels an already volatile situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, intensifying violence against innocent Palestinians by extremist settlers. This flagrant disregard for justice and human rights undermines the prospects for a political resolution.

The international community must vehemently condemn these actions and hold Israel accountable for its role. Moreover, the alarming rise in settler violence further exacerbates the situation. Urgent measures are imperative to prevent and punish such acts, fostering a culture of accountability and ensuring the safety and well-being of Palestinians. While the world remains silent and Israeli public attention is focused on preventing a judicial coup, the government is hastily moving towards an annexation coup, which will ultimately transform Israel into an apartheid state.”

Announcement of 1,000 housing units in Eli

The Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the establishment of 1,000 housing units in the Eli settlement comes two days after the publication of the Higher Planning Council‘s promotion of two construction plans in Eli. One plan in the Eli settlement consists of 152 housing units (Plan 237/8), and the other plan consists of 347 housing units (237/6) in the Palgei Maim outpost. Thus, even before the Prime Minister’s announcement, the promotion of 499 units in Eli and its outposts was already planned.

The Israeli government has decided to promote an additional 1,000 units, including two existing plans in the Eli settlement area that consist of a total of 1,057 units. These two plans have passed the threshold conditions and will be discussed for deposit at the Higher Planning Council. The plans are for 407 housing units (Plan 237/4) for the HaYovel and Nof Harim outposts and a for 650 units (Plan 237/5) for the establishment of a new neighborhood in Eli.

The implication of the government’s decisions in the past week is the doubling of the number of settlers residing at Eli while legalizing and expanding three outposts located at the edge of the settlement, in close proximity to the Palestinian villages of As-Sawiya (Palegi Mayim) and Karyut (Jubal).

The Evyatar Outpost

During the night between Tuesday and Wednesday (June 20-21, 2023), dozens of settlers entered the Evyatar outpost, declaring that they do not intend to leave.  According to media publications, the army decided to allow them to enter and remain in the site and is currently permitting free access for Israelis to enter and leave the outpost. The Evyatar outpost is located on the lands of the Palestinian village of Beita, and for several years, settlers have insisted on its establishment.

As of Thursday morning (June 22, 2023), the outpost hosts dozens of yeshiva students and several families who work on-site to establish it as a permanent settlement. In addition, and according to media sources, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Thursday (June 21, 2023) that the Evyatar outpost will be legalized and not evacuated. 

The Evyatar Outpost, 22.06.23

A new outpost was established on the lands of the villages of Luban al-Sharqiya and Sinjil

During the night between Wednesday and Thursday (June 21-22, 2023), settlers established a new outpost on the lands of the villages of Sinjil and Luban al-Sharqiya. The outpost is located next to the old Route 60, between the Ma’ale Levona settlement and the Givat Haroeh outpost, which the Israeli government decided to legalize last February. The outpost, called “HaMor,” consists of five caravans and an access path that was established during the night.

The outpost is within the blue line boundary of the Ma’ale Levona settlement however situated at the other end of Route 60 and approximately 1 km away from the current edge of the existing settlement. It appears that the outpost was established deliberately in a predetermined location, receiving support and funding from institutional sources, enabling the transportation of relatively spacious caravans, heavy equipment, and the commencement of infrastructure work.

The “HaMor” Outpost Photo: Settlement Watch

The “HaMor” Outpost Photo: Settlement Watch