Settlers build two new illegal outposts in West Bank: watchdogSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 01/11/2012 12:21 am in World / no comments
JERUSALEM, Oct. 31 — For the first time since 2005, settlers have built two new outposts in the West Bank, Peace Now charged on Wednesday.
Peace Now, a non-governmental organization, monitors the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and strives for peace with the Palestinians.
The first outpost, Nahlei Tal, is located northwest of Ramallah, while the second one, North Tzofim, is located in central Samaria region, near an existing settlement called Tzofim.
Peace Now claimed in its report that the settlements’ erection was assisted by the Israeli government, as there is infrastructure, electricity, running water and paved roads on the premises.
According to the report, Nahlei Tal started as a hut but progressed into a neighborhood of seven modular homes, with electricity and running water. As for North Tzofim, which includes five modular homes with electricity and water, they were built on the route of the security barrier.
Although acknowledging that the two outposts were in fact illegal, the Civil Administration said there is no intention at the moment to evacuate them.
“This is a coercion of an extreme minority, which sets out illegally where the outposts will be, when and how the army will guard them and they, in fact, call the shots on how our country would look in the future,” Hagit Ofran, projects director for Peace Now, told Xinhua Wednesday.
“Moreover, with this increasing construction in the West Bank, Israel might find itself alone in the world, without an ally,” Ofran added.
“Netanyahu, who started his term with a speech promising to promote the two-state solution for two peoples, is ending it, after breaking almost all of the promises he made then,” the NGO wrote in its report.
“After awarding the outlaws who have built the outposts on private land, the government continues to make fun of the law and let an extreme minority to build outposts and set the facts in the field, hurting Israel’s chance of reaching any settlement with the Palestinians,” the NGO added.
Moreover, the NGO claims that the new outposts are part of renewed efforts to push for more construction in the West Bank settlements, encouraged by the government.
A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities confirmed to the Jerusalem Post that the outposts were illegal, and that demolition orders have been issued against the outposts in the last couple of weeks.
Settlement outposts are those small-scale residential areas in the West Bank unauthorized by the Israeli government. However, the Palestinians and international community consider all settlements built in the West Bank and east Jerusalem to be illegal because they are built on territories Israel occupied during the 1967 war.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority came to a halt in 2010 due to Israel’s expansion of the West Bank settlements.