Settlement outpost

Established by settlement organizations to gain a foothold in the West Bank in areas that are not yet planned for settlement by the Israeli government. For this reason, outposts are considered “illegal” in Israeli law, irrespective of the fact that all settlements are illegal under international law. Even though they are established by nongovernmental groups, settlement outposts often enjoy sponsorship and financial support from politicians and ministries. They often consist of a few mobile homes and are not initially connected to Israeli infrastructure. Over time, however, outposts are legalized retroactively and granted recognition by the Israeli government at a later date (as was done with Ofra settlement, for example). Sometimes, outposts are established nearby but outside the official planning boundaries of an existing settlement, so that the Israeli government can easily sanction an “expansion” of that settlement and connect it to the existing infrastructure.