Israel handed Tuesday a list of 28 unauthorized West Bank settler outposts to the U.S. U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer, after a six-week delay.
The handover of the list came a week after Kurtzer publicly criticized Israel for its failure to commit to its signed obligations, especially concerning unauthorized settlers’ outposts.
Israeli defense ministry advisor Baruch Spiegel presented the list to the U.S. Ambassador. The list is supposed to include all outposts erected since Israeli Prime Minister assumed office in March 2001.
According to Peace Now source, the number of unauthorized West bank settler’s outposts exceeds a hundred.
With the list, Defense ministry informed that an order to evacuate 12 of the outposts was issued, 7 outposts were removed, and some 16 others are in the process of being removed.
The contradiction on the number of the West bank outposts is apparently due to the fact that many were established prior March 2001, when Ehud Barak was still the prime minister of Israel.
As Barak was engaged in Camp David negotiations, Ariel Sharon called on settlers to occupy and settle every West bank hilltop to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.
Sharon declared during the Aqaba summit in June 2003 that he will fulfill his Road Map obligation and would start the work to remove the unauthorized outposts
During Sharon’s visit to Washington on April 14, Sharon promised to hand in to the U.S. administration a list of unauthorized settler’s outposts and a timetable for their removal.
Even as they discussed freezing construction in authorized by the Israeli government settlements, Spiegel and Kurtzer failed to define the ‘construction line’ beyond which construction is not allowed.
While Israeli sources reported that both sides agreed that freezing construction in settlements will exclude major West bank settlement blocks, an American source denied such an agreement.