Israeli occupation authorities today legalised the illegal Mitzpe Dani settlement outpost built east of Ramallah and approved a plan to add 114 new housing units to it on an area of 150 dunums (37 acres).
Muayyad Shaaban, the head of a local anti-settlement committee, told the Wafa news agency that the occupation authorities had previously avoided legalising or enlarging this settlement outpost.
However, the blueprint of the outpost was approved today which will result in seizing a large area of Palestinian land in the village of Deir Dibwan to expand the outpost and build a new settlement.
He added that the occupation authorities aim to establish large settlement blocs on Palestinian land, specifically in the eastern region of the occupied West Bank close to the Jordan Valley.
Mitzpe Dani settlement outpost was built in 1999 during the first term of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Hundreds of dunums of land were declared closed areas after it was built illegally, with their Palestinian owners banned from reaching them.
According to Wafa, Shaaban warned Palestinian villagers against the Israeli settlers’ intention to establish a number of new outposts and called for vigilance in the areas where the settlers are active and to confront them to prevent their scheme.
Israeli human rights movement Peace Now estimates that about 666,000 settlers live in 145 large illegal 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.