News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorisraelapartheidsettlements — Viewing Item

State complicity in unauthorized settlements { March 8 2005 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active),1280,-4849267,00.html,1280,-4849267,00.html

Settler Leaders Contradict Israel Claims

Tuesday March 8, 2005 11:46 AM

AP Photo JRL116


Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Settler leaders on Tuesday painted a picture of widespread state complicity in setting up unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts, contradicting Israel's repeated claim that it is trying to dismantle outposts in line with an internationally backed peace plan.

The settler leaders confirmed reported findings of a government-sponsored study on the outposts to be released Wednesday. Excerpts were published Tuesday in the Maariv daily.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's aides declined comment, but a news conference on the report was to be held in Sharon's office Wednesday.

Also Tuesday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of ``unjustified reluctance'' to keep promises, including the release of more Palestinian prisoners and the handover of five West Bank towns to Palestinian control. Abbas, who spoke to the Palestinian parliament, was to meet later Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to try to break the deadlock over the handover terms.

The Palestinians insist the army dismantle roadblocks ringing their towns.

The town of Tulkarem has been mentioned as the first to be handed over, but Mofaz said Tuesday that the sequence of withdrawal has not yet been determined.

Israel's army chief, meanwhile, revealed Tuesday that by 2008, Israel aims to have no more Palestinians working in its territory. ``This is our political directive and this is because of what happened here over the last four and a half years,'' he said, referring to the current round of fighting with the Palestinians.

Before the Palestinian uprising, some 150,000 Palestinians worked in Israel, and their wages were the backbone of the Palestinian economy. Since then, Israel has drastically cut the number of work permits for security reasons, and has replaced many Palestinians with foreign workers.

The settlement outposts dotting the West Bank are seen as seeds of larger communities, in violation of assurances by successive Israeli governments that they would not build new settlements. Locations were often chosen to break up the contiguity of Palestinian areas and prevent the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

Zvi Hendel, a settler leader, said Tuesday that various government ministries and agencies have cooperated over the years in setting up outposts.

He told Israel Radio that the Israeli military administration in the West Bank provided the lands, the Housing Ministry bought mobile homes, Defense Ministry officials gave permits for trailers to be moved from place to place, and the army provided security for the setters.

``You know well when a state doesn't want something to happen it doesn't happen- and certainly when the land is in control of the military and when a state allows for things to happen, then they happen,'' Hendel said.

Hendel, a legislator, said the support for the outposts extended to the highest levels of government. Outposts began springing up in 1993, as a protest against an interim peace deal with the Palestinians.

``All the defense ministers ... were part of the secret,'' he said. ``You can't do it without the defense minister, you can't move mobile homes, you can't move a nail in the West Bank without the army's agreement. So let's not fool ourselves. This is what the State of Israel wanted. We carried out its mission.''

Former Housing Minister Yitzhak Levy, another settler leader, said not a single penny went where it wasn't meant to go. ``The person who got the mobile homes had permits, and infrastructure, and electricity, and water,'' Levy told Israel Radio. ``Do you think that something like this can happen behind the scenes?''

``It's possible there were flagrant violations that began with the prime minister, with the prime ministers, with the chiefs of staffs, the ministers, the attorney general,'' Levy said. ``If all of these people are in violation, then that tells you it is government policy.''

In 1998, Sharon, then the foreign minister, called on settlers to seize hilltops to prevent the handover of additional West Bank land to the Palestinians. Since becoming prime minister and accepting the road map plan in 2003, he has called for the dismantling of outposts. However, the Israeli military has removed only a few, and some were quickly rebuilt by settlers. The government argues it cannot move more decisively because of legal challenges.

The frank comments by settler leaders, who generally decline to discuss settlement funding, appeared to be an attempt to settle scores with Sharon over his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four northern West Bank settlements this summer.

The report on the outposts and the comments by the settler leaders are liable to cause tensions with the United States at a time when it hopes to build on momentum toward peacemaking in the Mideast.

Paul Patin, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, said ``we continue to expect Israel to abide'' by commitments to dismantle promises.

Former state prosecutor Talia Sasson, who wrote the government study, has recommended that Sharon consider possible legal action against government employees who assisted in the construction of unauthorized outposts, Israel Radio said.

70a11 [jpg]
70ad1 [jpg]
Bush shifts on settlements { February 28 2003 }
Bush urges israel to abide road map on settlements
Embattled jewish gaza settlers pray for miracles { January 15 2004 }
Israel approves construction more homes at settlements { December 3 2003 }
Israel approves more settlements
Israel flouts road map with new settlement { August 6 2004 }
Israel not in compliance with un demand
Israel offers housing plots in west bank settlement { December 5 2003 }
Israel terrorism tour { December 11 2003 }
Israeli to build 1001 new houses in west bank
Jewish settlements expand despite promises { July 23 2004 }
Jewish settlers vow defend outposts
New israeli settlements could threaten peace
Settlement info
Settlement map
Settlers offer terror tours { September 11 2001 }
Settlers target palestinian property { November 12 2003 }
State complicity in unauthorized settlements { March 8 2005 }
Thousands of settlers protest gaza pullout
Thousands protest gaza pullout
US questions settlement expansion { August 4 2004 }

Files Listed: 23


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple