Israeli DM Retroactively Legalizes Illegal Settlement Expansion

'Just Approval of the Existing Situation,' Barak Insists

Faced with a petition to the High Court of Justice, the Israeli Defense Ministry has announced that it is retroactively legalizing all the illegal settlement expansion conducted in the Shilo settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Peace Now had complained about considerable illegal construction going on in Shilo, and the state was pressed to respond to the complaint. With the retroactive legalization the legal compliant will vanish.

But not the criticism. The moves will allow partially completed construction on unapproved land to continue and if completed will expand Shilo by 60%. Peace Now responded to the announcement by saying “at least now everyone knows the government’s policy.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak appeared not to understand the nature of the criticism, saying that the move to retroactively legalize was “just approval of the existing situation.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.