Israeli Outposts Critical of Settler Leadership Targeted for Demolition

Buildings were razed in only one-fifth of all outposts between 2011 and 2012. Targeted sites were identified as being opposed to the Yesha Council of settlements.

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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Figures for the razing of illegal constructions in West Bank outposts between 2011 and 2012 show that places where residents are close to the settler political leadership are immune to demolition visits by the Civil Administration, with demolitions confined to smaller outposts that have shown opposition to the Yesha Council of settlements.

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Demolition in smaller outposts allows the Civil Administration to falsely show enforcement, using the smaller settlements to cover the immunity it gives to larger settlements.

The figures reveal that demolitions were carried out in only 19 of some 100 outposts over the two years.

The figures, provided at the request of the land-use watchdog group Regavim, show that, in 2011, the Civil Administration razed 54 structures and that another 40 were demolished by their owners after receiving a final order by the Civil Administration. In 2012, 238 houses were razed, which included about 80 in the outpost of Migron and the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, which the government had to demolish following a High Court ruling.

The list of affected outposts shows that the Civil Administration is focusing its demolition efforts on outposts identified with opposition to the Yesha Council. In some cases, only a few hundred meters separate sites where the Civil Administration is enforcing the law in one place and not another.

The largest number of demolitions – 24 structures – was carried out in the outpost of Oz Tzion, on the access road to the settlement of Beit El, in the northern West Bank. Oz Tzion was founded by settlement activist Daniella Weiss and the Nahala movement, which is staunchly opposed to the Yesha Council. Just a stone’s throw from there is Givat Assaf, which is built on private land and against which demolition orders have been issued. Despite that, not one building has been razed.

Second place in terms of demolitions is the outpost of Mitzpeh Avihai, near Kiryat Arba, in the southern West Bank, which is identified with the so-called hilltop youth. Twenty-one structures were demolished at the site over two years. However, outposts identified with the West Bank settlement association Amana – such as Mitzpeh Avigail, Mitzpeh Asael and Havat Maon – have not been touched.

The outpost of Oz Zion.Credit: Michal Fattal
IDF soldiers evacuate the remaining structures of the West Bank outpost Or Tzion, Dec. 30, 2012.Credit: Moti Milrod
Mitzpeh Avigail outpost.Credit: Oliver Fitoussi

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