Jerusalem, Alray - The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division has financed NIS 400,000 worth of infrastructure work in the West Bank outpost of Negohot, even though the work was carried out without building permits.
Negohot, located in the western Hebron Hills, was built on the ruins of an army outpost in 1998. Over the years, the Housing Ministry built permanent houses there, and another outpost, called Mitzpeh Lachish, was set up nearby. Together, these two outposts are home to some 50 families. But neither has ever had an approved master plan, and therefore, there is no way to issue legal building permits.
Over the past two years, however, extensive infrastructure work has been done in Negohot, including construction of sidewalks and supporting walls, and upgrades of the water and sewage systems. Documents obtained by Haaretz show that the work was carried out by the Mount Hebron Regional Council, but some of the funding came from the WZO’s Settlement Division.
A report on unauthorized West Bank outposts that the state commissioned from attorney Talia Sasson in 2005 found serious flaws in the Settlement Division’s conduct. Inter alia, it found that the division regularly funded illegal construction in many locales.
In response to Sasson’s report, then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz issued orders barring the use of public funds for illegal construction. Those orders applied to all public bodies and explicitly defined legal construction as construction carried out in accordance with a valid master plan.
Harretz contributed to this.