About 130 settlements have been built in the West Bank since it was occupied in 1967. Often, building these settlements required creative ways to take over land. A common method was to use a security excuse: training grounds, firing zones, seizure for military needs. In many cases, these reasons camouflaged a different purpose, more political than military. A prime example is the settlement of Kokhav Hashahar. The settlement’s website gives a very brief description of its origins: “In 1975, a Nahal military base was built at the site. It functioned until 1980 when a founding group of about ten young couples arrived and built Kokhav Hashahar.” How did Palestinian land become a military base that then became a civilian settlement?

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Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Refael Vardi to Military Commander of the Judea and Samaria Area and others,
December 12, 1974

Jewish Agency Settlement Department Director, Yehiel Admoni, to Judea and Samaria Area Commander,
February 2, 1975

Minutes of meeting between Defense Minister Shimon Peres and Hanan Porat,
October 28, 1974

Jewish Agency Settlement Department Director, Yehiel Admoni, to Minister Yisrael Galili,
August 19, 1975

Planned Settlement Block in the Area of Kokhav Hashahar,
December 30, 1975

World Zionist Organization Settlement Division Jerusalem Area Director, Yishayahu Nun, to Uri Ariel,
July 26, 1980