One quarter of all illegal West Bank outposts are regularly guarded by Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
These 25 unauthorized outposts are guarded by a special force tasked with “community protection.” Soldiers from the force typically spend a full week at a time guarding and protecting the outpost where they are stationed.
Every professional army officer who does not serve in a front-line unit must spend one week a year protecting these settlements. They must do a regular tour of duty in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley or the Kerem Shalom region near the border of Gaza and Egypt.
Protection duty is assigned to both regular and reserve officers. In 2010 and 2011, for example, numerous reserve officers were assigned to guard the unauthorized Givat Assaf outpost, where some 30 families live.
Other illegal outposts where reserve officers are stationed include Givat Dagan, which according to the NGO Peace Now has some 30 residents; Eshtemoa in the south Hebron Hills, which has some 40 residents; and Mitzpe Yair, where eight families live.
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