A survey conducted by the Israeli Peace Now movement revealed that 75
illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank are installed on private
Palestinian lands that the settlers controlled by force. These outposts
occupy a total of 16196 Dunams.
The survey revealed that 75 out of 102 outposts are installed in private Palestinians lands, while the rest were officially annexed by Israel after the settlers occupied them, and were considered “state lands”.
Nearly three-quarters of the 102 (70%) illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank are at least partly built on private Palestinian land.
Also, the survey found that 43% of 6.986 Dunams of Palestinian lands used for the outposts are on Palestinian property and additional 7.6% are on built on lands whose recognition as state lands is pending.
40-70% of thirty outposts in the occupied West Bank are built on private Palestinian property. These outposts include West Tapuah, Givat Hahish, Haroeh and Mitzpeh Dani.
Dror Etkes, head of the monitoring team at Peace Now said that the data shows that most of settlement outposts are built on private Palestinian lands, and that the outposts were recognized by Israel.
Etkes described the settlement construction on these lands as “highway robbery”.
He added that if Israel “wants to be closer to the level of a country in which law prevails, it should remove the outposts and punish the people responsible for their construction.
The Yesha Council of settlements slammed the Peace Now report and said that it is not based on reality.
Emily Amrusi, a spokeswoman of the council, claimed that 75% of the outposts, “hold a few Dunams”, and that all outposts “except a few” are on state lands.
She also claimed that outposts on private lands “are in process of being purchased”.
Meanwhile, Etkes warned that he would petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice against these illegal constructions.
The 2005 Sasson Report on outposts stated that "the establishment of outposts on private Palestinian lands is absolutely prohibited", and that these constructions "can in certain circumstances constitute a criminal act."
The report called for dismantling all illegal outposts since there constitute a serious attack on individual's property rights, and that the state should not authorized the establishment of outposts on private lands.
Attorney Talia Sasson, who headed that Criminal Investigation Department at the Israeli General Prosecution Office, said in her report on illegal settlement outpost that the Ministry of Security and the Israeli army are bargaining the settlers in the illegal outpost in order to leave it in exchange of allowing them to construct other settlement outposts in different areas.
The report was conducted after the-then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, asked Sasson to prepare a report on the illegal outposts in the West Bank that should be evacuated.
Although the report was prepared and its recommendations were presented to the government, the illegal outposts remained, were expanded in many cases, and new outposts were installed.