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Israel Allocates Swathes of West Bank Land to Settlers

Israel Allocates Swathes of West Bank Land to Settlers

Friday, 30 July, 2021 - 07:30
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the West Bank. Reuters

Israel has allocated more than 8,500 dunums of land for six settler farms and grazing outposts in the West Bank, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Haaretz newspaper said that the ministry statement came in a response to a query by the activist group Peace Now about the funding of groups that guard the outposts and volunteer there.

According to the Agriculture Ministry’s response, it funds three NGOs that provide volunteers for farm work in the outposts – Hashomer Yosh, Kedma and the pre-military program Beit Yattir. These groups received a total of 3.8 million shekels ($1.17 million) in 2020 and 3.6 million shekels in 2019 from the ministry for activities at the six farms.

There are dozens of outposts for grazing sheep and goats in the West Bank, at least 30 of which were built by the settlement movement Amana in recent years. These outposts take up a great deal of land with few residents, due to the extensive land given over to grazing, Haaretz said.

Peace Now called on the government to stop supporting the illegal farms and outposts if it wants to “avoid more ‘Evtayars,’” referring to an illegal outpost recently vacated by settlers after an agreement with the government permitting the site to remain intact under Israeli army supervision.

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