Israel moves to 'legalise' settler farm outposts in West Bank: report

Israel moves to 'legalise' settler farm outposts in West Bank: report
Farm outposts allow illegal settlers to seize swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank with little manpower.
2 min read
06 September, 2022
Israel settlers often turn West Bank outposts into fully fledged settlements [Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP via Getty]

A branch of Israeli government is moving to legalise up to 40 settler farm outposts across the occupied West BankHaaretz reported Monday.

The move by the Civil Administration to legalise the outposts is being spearheaded by Ze’ev Hever, the head of settler movement Amana, a settlements representative told Haaretz.

The Civil Administration has set a quota of 30 to 40 existing and future farm outposts to be 'legalised' under Israeli law. Hever lobbied to increase the number of farm outposts that would qualify under the new regulation, a source involved in drawing up the legislation told the Israeli daily.

Israel has occupied the Palestinian West Bank since 1967. An estimated 700,000 Israeli settlers live in the territory.

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While all the settlements are considered illegal under international law, most have been authorised by the Israeli government.

Outposts, built by Israeli settlers in the West Bank without government authorisation, are often turned into settlements.

Farm outposts allow settler groups to take up the maximum amount of land with the minimum possible number of residents, as the herds of animals the settlers raise need lots of land to graze on.

The Civil Administration started on the new regulation about two years ago as the number of Israeli farm outposts increased.

To be 'legal' in the eyes of the Israeli government, the outposts would have to be located on state-owned lands, the livestock owners must have grazing and veterinary permits, there can be only one nuclear family living alongside employees, and the outpost must have a limited number of structures, Haaretz said.

The procedure requires the approval of the defence minister and the justice ministry.