For the first time since 2005, new unauthorized outposts were established in the West Bank: “Nahalei Tal”, north-west of Ramallah, and “Tzofin North” (or “Tzofim North”), adjacent to the settlement of Tzofin, north of Qalqiliya. As opposed to the sporadic outposts that are created by the hill-top youth and evacuated every few weeks by the security forces, it is evident that the two new outposts are highly supported by the authorities. They include mobile homes, infrastructure, electricity, water and roads (and even air conditioning). From the civil administration’s response to Peace Now’s complaint it is apparent that at this stage there is no intention to evacuate the outposts.
Peace Now: “PM Netanyahu began his tenure with the Bar Ilan Speech promising to promote the 2-State-Solution, and is now ending his term, after breaching almost all his promises, with a discordant chord. After the government rewarded the lawbreakers that built on private Palestinian lands in Migron and the Ulpana with alternative homes and other benefits, the government continues to make a mockery of the rule of law and to allow a radical minority to establish new outposts, which create facts on the ground that harm the possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians”
“Nahalei Tal” outpost
North-West of Ramallah, between the settlements of Nerya (Talmon B) and Nahliel
In the recent months foundations were laid and pathways were paved north of the settlement of Nerya. Eight mobile homes were placed in the spot and were connected to infrastructure of electricity and water. In the past, the Binyamin Regional Council took part in creating pathways to the area, and marked the area as a settlement on its maps.
The outpost was built on lands that were declared as “State Lands” and that are included within the municipality border of the Talmon settlement. During 2002 the first attempt to create an outpost in the area was made by placing two unmanned containers. Those were later repositioned to a nearby settlement.
In 2007 a vineyard was established (known as the “Avia Vineyard”) over an area of 80 dunams (20 acres). In 2009, a permanent building was built east of the vineyard that was manned by young guards. Recently, further infrastructure and mobile homes were added, and the outpost was manned by more settlers.
Tzofim North – North of the settlement of Tzofim
In recent weeks a new outpost was established north of the settlement of Tzofim, adjacent to Qalqiliya. Young families reside in the outpost that includes five mobile homes, electricity and infrastructure. The outpost was built in an attempt to prevent the rerouting of the separation barrier that is supposed to begin soon, in accordance to the High Court of Justice’s ruling.
The outpost was established within the municipality border of the Tzofim settlement in an area where there is an authorized building plan for 1,200 housing units (plan number 149/2). On September 9th, 2009, the HCJ ruled that the rout of the separation barrier built north of Tzofim settlement was illegal, and was built in purpose of enabling the expansion of the settlement and not due to security reasoning.
As stated in the HCJ decision, 11244/03: “Clearly, an overall plan to expand the Israeli settlement cannot be a dominant reason to the rout, which is determined by the commanding officer”
The court ordered the Ministry of Defense to reposition the rout of the barrier in accordance with the HCJ decision, leaving the majority of the building plan outside of the barrier. In the upcoming months the Ministry of Defense is supposed to begin the works on the new route in accordance with the HCJ decision. However, without the removal of the new outpost, the construction of the new barrier would not be possible.