As Israel prepares for the upcoming visit of President Bush, its government has decided to make several concessions regarding outposts on the West Bank. It is now committed to “expeditiously” evacuate unauthorized settlement outposts on the West Bank. Bush has been urging such action and apparently the government decided to give in on this point. Most of these outposts actually consist of a few trailers set up on hill tops by hard-lineers endeavoring to sabotage any peace with Palestinians. Originally, the roadmap called for Israel to halt any further housing construction, but that has long since been ignored. Israel peace activists believe there are at least a 100 of these outposts scattered throughout the West Bank.
Palestinians are waiting for what was originally promised in 2003 to actually occur– dismantling of the outposts. But, that in itself is not sufficient for peace. Israel must address the issue of its continuing policy of building more housing on the West Bank and in east Jerusalem. These must cease in the name of peace.