The Israeli Civil Administration yesterday legalised a Jewish-only settlement outpost built on Palestinian land in the town of Dura, south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, Wafa news agency reported, citing the Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee.
"The Israeli Civil Administration's Supreme Planning Council (SPC) approved a detailed master plan under No. 521/1/B to retroactively legalise the colonial settlement outpost of Mitzpe Lachish (Givat Habooster), annexing it to the nearby settlement of Negohot and allocating 520 dunums of land for this purpose," the committee said in a statement.
It added that the settlement outpost master plan paves the way for turning Mitzpe Lachish, established in 2002, into a neighbourhood of Negohot and constructing 158 new settler units, turning Negohot into a major colonial bloc on over 811 dunums (220 acres) of Palestinian land.
Israeli human rights movement Peace Now estimates that about 666,000 settlers live in 145 large settlements and 140 outposts in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
International law considers the West Bank and Jerusalem "occupied territories", and all settlement activities there are illegal. Israel, however, distinguishes between outposts and settlements claiming the latter as legal forms of colonisation.