Israeli settlers capitalize on conflict to erect ILLEGAL West Bank outposts
04/01/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

According to a recent report by Al-Jazeera, Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank have significantly increased their construction of illegal outposts and roads between October and January.

The report, based on data collected by activists and corroborated with satellite imagery by Al-Jazeera's verification unit, Sanad, reveals the establishment of at least 15 illegal outposts, and 18 illegal roads, along with numerous fences and roadblocks. (Related: “Great Israeli Real Estate Event” sparks outrage after illegally advertising properties that are on track to be confiscated from besieged West Bank.)

The expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, currently numbering around 700,000, is a growing concern. Many settlers reside in settlements deemed illegal under international law, although considered legal under Israeli law. Typically, new settlements on Palestinian land begin as illegal outposts, which are later retroactively authorized by Israeli courts once the settler population grows.

The rate of outpost construction has surged since the commencement of the conflict in Gaza on Oct. 7. Mauricio Lapchik, an activist with Peace Now, noted: "When there is conflict, settlers exploit the situation to establish more outposts."

Satellite imagery illustrates settlers pushing deeper into Palestinian territory, constructing roads exclusively for Jewish Israelis. These developments fragment Palestinian communities, restricting their movement and access to agricultural lands.

Moreover, the escalation in outpost and road construction has coincided with increased settler attacks aimed at displacing Palestinians.

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Since Oct. 7, the United Nations (UN) has documented 573 settler attacks in the West Bank, with Israeli forces accompanying settlers in half of these incidents. Settler violence has resulted in the deaths of at least nine Palestinians, while Israeli forces have killed 382 individuals.

Alarming incidents, such as the arrival of armed settlers in the village of Wadi al-Siq shortly after Oct. 7, demonstrate the escalating tensions.

Settlers, accompanied by police, engaged in destructive actions, causing fear and displacement among Palestinian residents like Abu Bashar, who lamented the loss of their land.

Since Israel initiated a severe bombing campaign in Gaza on Oct. 7 in response to a deadly Hamas attack, incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have surged, more than doubling from an average of three to eight incidents per day, according to the UN.

This escalation in settler attacks has compelled hundreds of Palestinians to flee their homes over the past three weeks amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 9,500 people.

Who exactly are the settlers?

Settlers are Israeli citizens who reside on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The vast majority of settlements have been constructed, either wholly or partially, on private Palestinian land.

Currently, over 700,000 settlers, constituting 10 percent of Israel’s nearly seven million population, inhabit 150 settlements and 128 outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Authorized by the Israeli government, settlements differ from outposts, which are constructed without governmental authorization and can range in size from small shanties housing a few individuals to communities accommodating up to 400 people.

Motivations for settling in the occupied territories vary, with some drawn for religious reasons while others are attracted by a comparatively lower cost of living and financial incentives provided by the government. Notably, one-third of all settlers are ultra-Orthodox Jews.

A significant portion of Israeli Jews residing in the West Bank believe that the construction of settlements enhances the security of the country. This perspective asserts that settlements serve as a buffer for Israel’s national security by limiting the movement of Palestinians and undermining the feasibility of a Palestinian state.

However, some factions within the Israeli left argue that settlement expansion undermines the two-state solution and, consequently, Israel's prospects for peace.

Watch this video about West Bank settler expansion during the war in Gaza.

This video is from the alltheworldsastage channel on

More related stories:

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Israel coerced UN agency for Palestinian refugees into LYING about Hamas links.

Israel will invade Lebanon in late spring if conflict continues to escalate, Biden’s intel warns.

Sources include:

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