Settlers have established an unauthorized outpost near the settlement of Eli in the northern West Bank — possibly the latest move that makes it difficult for local Palestinians to gain access to their nearby land.
Some of the five or so modest structures at the new outpost, which were put up in recent weeks, are for agricultural use and provide shelter for farm animals including geese. There is also a camping tent and a building that appears to be designed for residential use.
Terraces of sorts have also been created that would provide space for additional buildings. At the entrance to the site, a Haaretz reporter also saw a van full of furniture.
Israel has recently declared other land near Eli state-owned, providing territorial contiguity among enclaves of state-owned land in the area. The new outpost is located on one of these enclaves.
Based on maps of the Israel's Civil Administration in the West Bank, the structures were put up illegally without permits on state-owned land surrounded by non-state-owned land. Some of the land in the area is farmed by Palestinians.
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Around the West Bank, settlers have been setting up farms near the outer edge of state-owned land, as in the case near Eli, in an effort to expand existing settlements. Even though they have been established without permission, no legal action has been taken against them.
The Civil Administration is unaware of any construction at the site, a security source said, and Avi Roeh, who heads the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, the local Israeli government authority, denied that his council had anything to do with the new outpost.