West Bank outpost..
(photo credit: PEACE NOW)
Settlers have challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new policy of constrained construction by building a new outpost in the last two weeks, Peace Now said on Friday.
The outpost is located within the boundaries of the Geva Binyamin settlement, but outside of the community’s security fence, Peace Now said, adding that it was built without permits but on state land.
Late last month the cabinet agreed to a policy of constrained settlement building. This included an understanding that no new neighborhoods would be constructed and no new outposts would be built.
“This is the first outpost that is being established following the recent commitment by the prime minister for a new settlement policy, which included the prevention of establishing any new outposts,” Peace Now said.
Lior Amihai of Peace Now said that, unlike other outposts, the residents were motivated by economics and not ideology. Based on conversations with the residents, Amihai said, he concluded that they have moved there because they lack affordable housing.
Geva Binyamin, which also is known as Adam, is located in the Binyamin region of the West Bank between Jerusalem and Ramallah, about 4.3 kilometers over the 1949 Armistice line.
The building of the new outpost comes as US President Donald Trump is in the midst of a push to resume the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, which has been frozen since April 2014.
Trump has asked Israel to support that process by holding back on settlement activity. Israeli and US official held meetings last month to try and come to an understanding of what settlement building would be permissible, but no conclusions were reached.