JERUSALEM Ñ Israel's military has launched a review of more than 100
unauthorized Jewish outposts in the West Bank.
Officials said the effort was being conducted in coordination with
the Defense Ministry. They said the review would include the location and
nature of each outpost deemed as having been established without government
"These illegal outposts are in different categories," Deputy Defense
Minister Ze'ev Boim said. "Those that have no legitimacy should be removed."
Boim said the location of the outpost would be a significant factor in
any government decision. He said those outposts in the Etzion Bloc south of
Bethlehem would be given preferred status because of what he termed was the
Israeli consensus to retain the area in any settlement with the
Another criteria includes the type of land on which the outpost was
constructed. Officials said outposts established on private land bought by
Israelis would probably not be removed.
Officials said more than 100 unauthorized outposts were established
around the West Bank over the last two years. The Defense Ministry was said
to have deemed about 70 of the outposts completely illegal.
The military has been ordered to dismantle two of the outposts over the
next few days. Both of outposts are around the southern West Bank city of
Some of the outposts consist of little more than a mobile home and a
water tower. A few of the outposts have grown into neighborhoods that
contain both permanent and temporary housing.
The removal of the Jewish outposts has been a major demand by the
Palestinian Authority and its supporters in the international community. The
United States has urged Israel to deem the removal of the outposts a
priority as part of the implementation of a roadmap for an end to the
Israeli-Palestinian war and negotiations for a Palestinian state. The United
States is expected to formally release the roadmap on Wednesday, following a
vote by the Palestinian legislature to approve the new Cabinet headed by
Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.