Masked Jewish settlers gather near an illegal settlement outpost near the West Bank city of Hebron, 31 October. (Mamoun Wazwaz/MaanImages)
The Israeli government, which has encouraged the building of settlements in the West Bank in violation of international law since it occupied the territory in 1967, stated on Monday that it will act to remove settlement outposts. These are structures built in violation of international agreements, without official permission and against Israeli law but with tacit support from the Israeli authorities. In 2005, an Israeli government investigation found that state authorities had colluded with the settlement movement to establish over 100 outposts in the West Bank, donating US$17 million to such projects between 2000 and 2004.