44% of outpost land is Palestinian-owned, Peace Now says

Security forces evacuate six youths from Shvut Ami outpost, demolish wooden hut.

migron outpost 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP)
migron outpost 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Peace Now on Sunday said that 44 percent of the land - 7,000 out of 16,000 dunams - on which 100 unauthorized West Bank outposts sit, is under private Palestinian ownership. Overall, it said, 80 of the outposts make some use of some private Palestinian land. In 37 cases, she added, more than 50% of the outpost makes use of Palestinian land. Another 17, she said, are totally built on Palestinian land. According to attorney Talia Sasson's government-sponsored outpost report submitted in March 2005, only 15 outposts were clearly built totally on private Palestinian property. She said that 39 outposts were partially built on private Palestinian property and partially on Israeli state land. She could not determine ownership of 18 outposts, she said, and only in the case of 26 outposts was she able to verify that they were built totally on state property. Security forces evacuated six youths from the Shvut Ami outpost overnight Saturday and demolished a wooden hut. No violence was reported at the site, located near Kedumim in Samaria. Last week, the state made clear to the High Court of Justice that it has accepted the illegal construction of nine new houses in Ofra, in response to a petition filed in June 2008 by two human rights groups and five Palestinians who claim to own the land upon which the houses were built. The state representative said that enforcing building regulations in Ofra was low on the list of priorities for dealing with illegal construction in the West Bank. The High Court, however, issued a unilateral interim injunction ordering an immediate halt to the construction of a permanent structure in the illegal outpost of El-Matan.