Despite Israeli assurances, illegal settlements continue to grow

December 29, 2006 11:40 AM IMEMC & Agencies Israeli Settlement, News Report, Palestine 0

In the month of December alone, 90 new Israeli trailers were placed on
illegally-seized Palestinian land in the West Bank.  The trailers are
the first stage of expanding existing Israeli settlements, and of
establishing new ones.

According to Israeli law, once illegal settlements are established for a certain amount of time and with a certain amount of population in the West Bank, the government of Israel is then required to recognize them as municipalities and provide services such as roads, electricity and water — despite the fact that the settlements are built on illegally-seized Palestinian land.

Israeli settlers have installed 200 new trailers on stolen Palestinian land in the last six months, despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made numerous public assurances that settlements would not be expanded and illegal outposts would be dismantled.

The new trailers, considered illegal under Israeli law, were spotted in an aerial survey conducted by the Israeli Civil Administration, according to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.  Despite their illegality, the outposts are unlikely to be demolished, according to the Israeli daily, as the Israeli legal system makes it very easy for such outposts to be constructed, and difficult for them to be demolished.

The latest trailer construction has been taking place in Givat Assaf, near Beit El, and Amona, near Ofra in the West Bank.  250,000 Israeli settlers currently live in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of Palestine, and 240,000 live in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.  Such settlements, on land seized illegally from Palestinians, are considered illegal under international law, an authority Israel has thus far refused to acknowledge.

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