It’s incredible when settlers of a country that boasts of being the only democracy in the Middle East wantonly break even their own laws.
Under international law all settlement activity is illegal as the Geneva Convention forbids the development of land by an occupying power.
“There is a pattern of failure to enforce the law on the settlers,” said Dror Etkes, one of the report’s authors.
“This isn’t an accident. It became another tool to achieve the military goals of the occupation, which is to allocate the land and hold it.”
The report gathered data on 164 Jewish settlements where a total of 260,000 people currently live, including a number of “wildcat” sites that are illegal under Israeli law.
Even though the settlements have a large surplus of land within their allocated boundaries, the report found that about a third of the building by settlers goes on outside these licensed areas.
“The importance of these spillovers, 70 per cent of which affect private Palestinian holdings, is to demonstrate that there is a deliberate policy of expansion, underhandedly encouraged by the authorities,” Mr Etkes said.
The settlement is justified by Right-wing Jews on the grounds that all land west of the Jordan belonged historically to Israel.