The Sasson Report on the Unauthorized Outposts has been published. This official Israeli government report will shed some light on the process by which most of the settlements have been started. I will write more about it soon. For the moment, here are a couple of sentences, chosen by me at random from page 34 (out of 108):
The Ministry of Construction & Housing financed the establishment of unauthorized outposts, but never examined the interests (title) in the lands upon which the outposts were built. Some of the outposts built with the Ministry’s aid were located on private Palestinian property and on survey land. The Housing Ministry claims it was not aware of this fact. There is no dispute it never bothered to check it out.
A good overall comment on the idea of an “outposts” report is provided by Dror Etkes, head of the Settlement Monitoring Unit of Peace Now (He came to speak late last year at the Scottish Parliament). He asks
what is the point of distinguishing between a discussion of outposts and a discussion of the entire settlement enterprise? Clearly the outposts are nothing less than new or expanded settlements, established in recent years.