Arab Outposts Seek to Take Over State Land

Dozens of new “outposts” have been cropping up throughout Judea and Samaria in recent months, established by Arabs to take over state land

David Lev ,

Illegal Arab outpost being demolished
Illegal Arab outpost being demolished

Dozens of new “outposts” have been cropping up throughout Judea and Samaria in recent months. But these outposts are not being established by groups of Jewish activists, like the “hilltop youth.” They are being established by Arabs, who are using these outposts to illegally take over state land, creating “facts on the ground” that attempt to establish Arab ownership of the land and make it virtually impossible to evict them.

A report in Ma'ariv Thursday said that a petition had been filed with the High Court demanding that the state demolish these outposts. The court has been very involved in the outpost issue, with decisions to demolish or otherwise uproot buildings in several communities established by Jews, such as Givat Ha'Ulpana and Migron. The court has ruled against those communities because the land they are built on is claimed by Arabs, but in recent years the Arabs themselves have been employing the same strategy – building structures on land that does not belong to them, with the intent of “conquering” it for their cause.

Officials say that it is impossible to know how many such Arab outposts there are, but they are visible off main and side roads throughout Judea and Samaria, encompassing thousands of dunams. Among the most popular areas for the Arab outposts are state lands in the Hevron Hills area, along the Jerusalem-Dead Sea road, the northern part of the Begin Road in Jerusalem, and numerous sites in Samaria. Each outposts has between 3 and 10 structures, complete with electric generator and water tower, from which flies the PA flag.

The petition, brought by a number of groups, demands that the state take aggressive action to remove the Arab outposts, as it would in the case of Jewish ones. The state has not yet responded to the petition.