Israeli settlers have built two new unauthorized outposts in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli activist group Peace Now.
About eight “prefabricated” homes were built near the settlement of Tzofim and another five outside the settlement of Talmon. The homes are not authorized by the Israeli state, but are fully connected to power and water lines serving the authorized settlements nearby.
An Israeli Defense Ministry official said demolition orders had been issued against about a dozen such structures at the two locations, but declined to say when they might be removed.
The outposts are an indication of the radicalization of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And although they are unauthorized, they are no more legal than the Jewish settlements set up by the Israeli state.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have stopped completely because Israel refused reasonable preconditions from the Palestinians that illegal Jewish settlement projects inside the West Bank be halted.
This refusal, and the insistence on continuing colonization of Palestinian territory – more than 311,000 settlers now live in the West Bank – suggest Israel aims to dispossess Palestinians of the 22% of historic Palestine that they have left.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party Charter declares Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza as “the realization of Zionist values” and describes the whole of the West Bank and Jerusalem as belonging to Israel.
This not only goes directly against stated US policy in favor of a negotiated two-state solution, but it violates international law prohibiting forced relocation of occupied people and the settlement of conquered or occupied lands.
Although settlement activity is condemned the world over and is a blatant violation of international law, it continues with impunity because of unqualified economic, military, and diplomatic support from the US.