Settlement Outposts

   Small extensions to existing settlements, normally established on nearby hillsides without government authorization and, hence, illegal under Israeli law. According to Peace Now, there were approximately 100 such outposts throughout the West Bank in 2006, the majority populated by Gush Emunim and other elements of the settlement community including the so-called hilltop youths. Steps by Israeli authorities in early 2006 to evacuate and demolish one such outpost, Amona (near Ofra), produced rioting by some 4,000 protestors. The outposts remain a matter of contention in Israeli relations with the Palestinians and the United States. The Palestinians tend not to believe Israel's commitments to evacuate and demolish the illegal outposts and perceive the emphasis on the outposts as a means through which Israel can divert attention from its obligation (according to the Palestinian interpretation of signed agreements) to withdraw from all settlements in the West Bank.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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