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Under Likud, illegal outposts received NIS 70 million to Build ....on Palestinian Land

by Akiva Eldar Thursday, Jun. 09, 2005 at 4:53 PM

The Housing Ministry allocated at least NIS 70 million to build infrastructure and erect public structures in 82 illegal outposts in the West Bank during the prime ministerial terms of Benjamin Netanyahu (1996-1999) and Ariel Sharon (2001-2004), Haaretz has learned from an appendix to attorney Talia Sasson's report on the outposts.

The document also shows that most of the illegal

outposts reported by Sasson were established on

privately owned Palestinian land.

According to the Sasson report's appendix, 15 of the

outposts are located entirely on private land; 39 are

partially on private land and partially on state-owned

land, or on land whose ownership rights are in

question; and 26 lie entirely on state-owned land.

Sasson writes in the appendix that an outpost built

even partially on privately owned Palestinian land

cannot retroactively receive legal status.

As a result, 54 of the 87 outposts reviewed - out of a

total of 105 outposts - are "irreparable," the

appendix concludes.

The figures in the appendix, correct for June 2004,

reveal that the funds were allocated to 753 families

and a few dozen bachelors and students who settled in

61 illegal outposts during Netanyahu's term in office,

and another 600 individuals who settled in outposts

that were established during Sharon's period as prime

minister and are slated for immediate evacuation

according to the road map peace plan.

The appendix also reports that five outposts that were

set up during Yitzhak Rabin's term as prime minister

received more than NIS 10 million in funding. Sasson

writes that in addition to the 87 outposts about which

she managed to accumulate data, there are another 18

outposts about which no clear figures exist.

The sums noted in the appendix do not include tens of

millions of shekels allocated to the outposts by the

Defense Ministry, the World Zionist Organization

Settlement Division, regional councils and donors from

Israel and abroad. The World Zionist Organization did

not furnish data on the funds it invested in the

outposts and said only that it funded initial

encampments, planning, production means and


The Housing Ministry allocated the largest sum - NIS

5.2 million for infrastructure and NIS 750,000 for

public structures - to the Nof Harim outpost that was

set up in 1995 when Labor MK Benjamin Ben-Eliezer held

the position of housing minister. The outpost was

established in part on privately owned Palestinian

land - without the approval of the cabinet, the

defense minister or planning and building authorities.

The same year saw the unauthorized establishment, also

on private Palestinian land, of two outposts in the

Ofra-Beit El area - Pisgat Yaakov and Emunah. In the

initial years after their establishment, these two

outposts received funding to the tune of more than NIS

6 million, half of which came from the Housing

Ministry. The Horsha outpost, set up that same year on

land whose ownership has yet to be determined,

received NIS 1.56 million from the Housing Ministry.

Sasson writes that the Migron outpost, set up in May

2001 and slated last year for evacuation, lies

entirely on land belonging to the adjacent Palestinian

villages of Ein Yabrud and Burka. The Housing Ministry

spent more than NIS 3.5 million on infrastructure and

NIS 800,000 on public buildings for Migron.

The Israel Electric Corporation said it connected

Migron to the electricity grid after it received

misleading information from the Civil Administration

on the legal status of the outpost. The Mekorot

national water utility reported that the Matte

Binyamin Regional Council had requested the

installation of the water system at the site.

According to a Peace Now report, some 1,834 dunams, or

457 acres, of built-up area or area-under-development

were added to settlements in 2004. The same year saw

the publication of government tenders for the

construction of 962 housing units on settlements.

Building sites in 21 settlements lie outside the

existing built-up areas of the communities.

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