Israel moves to legalize bloc of West Bank outposts

Ben Sales

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israel intends to make legal a bloc of unauthorized West Ban settlement outposts.

The outposts cover approximately two square miles and include hundreds of buildings near the settlement of Shiloh in the north-central West Bank, Haaretz reported Thursday. Plans to authorize the outposts came to light in the state’s response to a Supreme Court petition that sought to evacuate Adei Ad, one of the larger outposts, because it was built on private Palestinian land. The petition was submitted by Yesh Din, an Israeli legal aid group for Palestinians.

The outposts were built without state authorization in the 1990s. Responding to the Yesh Din petition, the state announced plans to examine which parts of the outposts were built on state land, and to legalize them. Structures built on private land will be demolished. According to Haaretz, local officials have received blueprints detailing the plans.

Settlers in the outposts have been accused of violence against Palestinians. In 2014, the state opened 36 investigations of claims of violence in the area, and issued 11 indictments against 19 people.

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