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The Info List - Israeli Settlement


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Israeli settlements are civilian communities[i] inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish
Jewish
ethnicity,[1][2] built predominantly on lands within the Palestinian territories, which Israel
Israel
has militarily occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War,[3] and partly on lands considered Syrian territory also militarily occupied by Israel
Israel
since the 1967 war. Such settlements within Palestinian territories currently exist in Area C of the West Bank
West Bank
and in East Jerusalem, and within Syrian territory in the Golan Heights. Following the 1967 war, Israeli settlements also existed within Egyptian territory in the Sinai
Sinai
Peninsula, and within the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip; however, Israel
Israel
evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 Egypt– Israel
Israel
peace agreement and from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
in 2005 under Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. Israel
Israel
dismantled 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
in 1982, while in 2005[4] all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
were dismantled, but only four in the West Bank. In the West Bank, however, Israel continues to expand its remaining settlements as well as settling new areas,[5][6][7][8][9] despite pressure from the international community to desist. According to the Israeli investigative reporter Uri Blau, settlements received funding by private tax-exempt U.S. NGOs of $220 million for 2009–2013, suggesting that the U.S. is indirectly subsidizing their creation.[10] The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal,[11] and the United Nations
United Nations
has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[12][13] The Israeli-occupied area known as East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
(Palestinian territory adjacent to West Jerusalem
West Jerusalem
within Israel
Israel
proper, together forming greater Jerusalem) and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (within Syrian territory) are also considered settlements by the international community despite Israel
Israel
having enacted domestic Israeli legislation declaring territorial annexation to Israel, which is also not recognised by the international community.[14] The International Court of Justice also says these purportedly annexed settlements are illegal in a 2004 advisory opinion.[15][16][17] In April 2012, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, in response to moves by Israel
Israel
to legalise Israeli outposts, reiterated that all settlement activity is illegal, and "runs contrary to Israel's obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations."[18] Similar criticism was advanced by the EU and the US.[19][20] Israel
Israel
disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that were used to declare the settlements illegal.[21] In December 2016 United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 2334 confirmed the illegality of the settlement enterprise and renders Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
involved with settling the West Bank
West Bank
vulnerable to lawsuits throughout the world.[22] The presence and ongoing expansion of existing settlements by Israel and the construction of settlement outposts is frequently criticized as an obstacle to the Israeli–Palestinian peace process
Israeli–Palestinian peace process
by the Palestinians,[23] and third parties such as the OIC,[24] the United Nations,[25] Russia,[26] the United Kingdom,[27] France,[28] the European Union,[29] and the United States have echoed those criticisms.[25] Settlement has an economic dimension, much of it driven by the significantly lower costs of housing for Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
living in Israeli settlements compared to the cost of housing and living in Israel
Israel
proper.[30] Government spending per citizen in the settlements is double that spent per Israeli citizen in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, while government spending for settlers in isolated Israeli settlements is three times the Israeli national average. Most of the spending goes to the security of the Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
living there.[31] On 30 June 2014, according to the Yesha Council, 382,031 Israeli citizens lived in the 121 officially recognised Israeli settlements in the West Bank, almost exclusively Jewish
Jewish
citizens of Israel. A number of Palestinian non- Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
(as opposed to Arab citizens of Israel) also reside in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem,[32] however, over 300,000 Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
(both Jewish
Jewish
citizens of Israel and Arab citizens of Israel) lived in settlements in East Jerusalem, and over 20,000 Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
lived in settlements in the Golan Heights.[33][34][35] In January 2015 the Israeli Interior Ministry gave figures of 389,250 Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
living in the West Bank
West Bank
and a further 375,000 Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
living in East Jerusalem.[36] Settlements range in character from farming communities and frontier villages to urban suburbs and neighborhoods. The four largest settlements, Modi'in Illit, Ma'ale Adumim, Beitar Illit
Beitar Illit
and Ariel, have achieved city status. Ariel has 18,000 residents, while the rest have around 37,000 to 55,500 each.

Contents

1 History

1.1 1967 War 1.2 Settlement policy

2 Reasons for settlements 3 Geography and municipal status 4 Types of settlement 5 Resettlement of former Jewish
Jewish
communities 6 Demographics 7 Administration and local government

7.1 West Bank 7.2 East Jerusalem 7.3 Golan Heights 7.4 Sinai
Sinai
Peninsula 7.5 Gaza Strip

8 Legal status

8.1 Illegality arguments 8.2 Legality arguments

9 Land ownership 10 Effects on Palestinian human rights 11 Economy

11.1 Export to EU 11.2 Palestinian economy and resources

12 Palestinian labour 13 Violence

13.1 Israeli settler violence 13.2 Olive trees 13.3 Pro-Palestinian activist violence 13.4 Palestinian violence against settlers

14 Environmental issues 15 Impact on Palestinian demographics 16 Educational institutions 17 Strategic significance 18 Dismantling of settlements 19 Palestinian statehood bid of 2011 20 Impact on peace process

20.1 Proposals for land swap 20.2 Proposal of dual citizenship

21 Settlement expansion 22 See also 23 Notes 24 References 25 Further reading 26 External links

History See also: Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
timeline 1967 War The 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
left Israel
Israel
in control of [37]

(from Jordan) the entire West Bank
West Bank
of the Jordan
Jordan
River, including parts of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(East Jerusalem). (from Egypt) the entire Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
up to the Suez Canal, and the Gaza strip. (from Syria) most of the Golan Heights, since 1981, administered under the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
Law.

Settlement policy As early as 1967, Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
policy was started by the Labor government of Levi Eshkol. The basis for Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
in the West Bank
West Bank
became the Allon Plan,[38][39] named after its inventor Yigal Allon. It implied Israeli annexation of major parts of the Israeli-occupied territories, especially East Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and the Jordan
Jordan
Valley.[citation needed] The settlement policy of the government of Yitzhak Rabin, was also derived from the Allon Plan.[40] The first settlement was Kfar Etzion, in the southern West Bank,[38][41] although that location was outside the Allon Plan. Many settlements began as Nahal settlements. They were established as military outposts and later expanded and populated with civilian inhabitants. According to a secret document dating to 1970, obtained by Haaretz, the settlement of Kiryat Arba
Kiryat Arba
was established by confiscating land by military order and falsely representing the project as being strictly for military use while in reality, Kiryat Arba was planned for settler use. The method of confiscating land by military order for establishing civilian settlements was an open secret in Israel
Israel
throughout the 1970s, but publication of the information was suppressed by the military censor.[42][43] The Likud government of Menahem Begin, from 1977, was more supportive to settlement in other parts of the West Bank, by organizations like Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim
and the Jewish
Jewish
Agency/World Zionist Organization, and intensified the settlement activities.[40][44][45] In a government statement, Likud declared that the entire historic Land of Israel
Land of Israel
is the inalienable heritage of the Jewish
Jewish
people, and that no part of the West Bank
West Bank
should be handed over to foreign rule.[46] Ariel Sharon declared in the same year (1977) that there was a plan to settle 2 million Jews
Jews
in the West Bank
West Bank
by 2000.[47] The government abrogated the prohibition from purchasing occupied land by Israelis; the "Drobles Plan", a plan for large-scale settlement in the West Bank meant to prevent a Palestinian state under the pretext of security became the framework for its policy.[48][A] The "Drobles Plan" from the World Zionist Organization, dated October 1978 and named "Master Plan for the Development of Settlements in Judea
Judea
and Samaria, 1979–1983", was written by the Jewish
Jewish
Agency director and former Knesset member Matityahu Drobles. In January 1981, the government adopted a follow up-plan from Drobles, dated September 1980 and named "The current state of the settlements in Judea
Judea
and Samaria", with more details about settlement strategy and policy.[49][B]

Golani soldiers searching a Palestinian in Tel Rumeida, 2012

Since 1967, government-funded settlement projects in the West Bank
West Bank
are implemented by the "Settlement Division" of the World Zionist Organization.[50] Though formally a non-governmental organization, it is funded by the Israeli government and leases lands from the Civil Administration to settle in the West Bank. It is authorized to create settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
on lands licensed to it by the Civil Administration.[38] Traditionally, the Settlement Division has been under the responsibility of the Agriculture Ministry. Since the Olso Accords, it was always housed within the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). In 2007, it was moved back to the Agriculture Ministry. In 2009, the Netanyahu Government decided to subject all settlement activities to additional approval of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister. In 2011, Netanyahu sought to move the Settlement Division again under the direct control of (his own) PMO, and to curtail Defense Minister Ehud Barak's authority.[50] At the presentation of the Oslo II Accord
Oslo II Accord
on 5 October 1995 in the Knesset, PM Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
expounded the Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
policy in connection with the permanent solution to the conflict. Israel
Israel
wanted "a Palestinian entity, less than a state, which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and the West Bank". It wanted to keep settlements beyond the Green Line including Ma'ale Adumim
Ma'ale Adumim
and Givat Ze'ev in East Jerusalem. Blocs of settlements should be established in the West Bank. Rabin promised not to return to the 4 June 1967 lines.[51] In June 1997, the Likud government of Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
presented its "Allon Plus Plan". This plan holds the retention of some 60% of the West Bank, including the "Greater Jerusalem" area with the settlements Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
and Ma'aleh Adumim, other large concentrations of settlements in the West Bank, the entire Jordan
Jordan
Valley, a "security area", and a network of Israeli-only bypass roads.[52][53] In the Road map for peace
Road map for peace
of 2002, which was never implemented, the establishment of a Palestinian state was acknowledged. Outposts would be dismantled. However, many new outposts appeared instead, few were removed. Israel's settlement policy remained unchanged. Settlements in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
and remaining West Bank
West Bank
were expanded. While according to official Israeli policy no new settlements were built, at least some hundred unauthorized outposts were established since 2002 with state funding in the 60% of the West Bank
West Bank
that was not under Palestinian administrative control and the population growth of settlers did not diminish. In 2005, all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and four in the northern West Bank
West Bank
were forcibly evacuated as part of Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip, known to some in Israel
Israel
as "the Expulsion".[4] However, the disengagement was more than compensated by transfers to the West Bank.[54] After the failure of the Roadmap, several new plans emerged to settle in major parts of the West Bank. In 2011, Haaretz
Haaretz
revealed the Civil Administration's "Blue Line"-plan, written in January 2011, which aims to increase Israeli "state-ownership" of West Bank
West Bank
lands ("state lands") and settlement in strategic areas like the Jordan
Jordan
Valley and the Palestinian northern Dead Sea
Dead Sea
area.[55] In March 2012, it was revealed that the Civil Administration over the years covertly allotted 10% of the West Bank
West Bank
for further settlement. Provisional names for future new settlements or settlement expansions were already assigned. The plan includes many Palestinian built-up sites in the Areas A and B.[56] Reasons for settlements

Jews
Jews
who had been living in the West Bank
West Bank
before they were expelled in 1948 wanted to return home.[57] After the Six-Day War, some Israelis believed that war might break out again. They built settlements on hilltops to act as observation posts for an early warning system.[58] Israelis were afraid that if strategically important lands were returned, Israelis would be in danger. For years, Syria
Syria
had been firing from the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
into the kibbutzim of the valley. If Syria
Syria
got back the Golan Heights, they would resume firing on the Israelis below. Israelis remembered that after conquering the Sinai, Israel
Israel
withdrew from the Sinai. If Israel
Israel
constructed a military base, the soldiers could be ordered to leave, but if they created a "settlement on the Syrian heights – a civilian presence, then no one could just order a withdrawal. There'd have to be a debate in the Knesset."[59] There were Israelis who remembered that Israel
Israel
had conquered the Sinai in 1956, but gave it back. "… The promises made by Eisenhower had proved hollow at the first test and had failed to prevent war …"[60] They were willing to return land, but only if Israel
Israel
got a peace treaty in return. They were hoping that building settlements would make it more difficult for Israel
Israel
to withdraw from land without getting a peace treaty in return. There were "Religious radicals, convinced that they were fulfilling God's plan for history …"[61] For Avraham Kook, "the Jews' role was to be the vessel that brings the "divine idea" into the world. The world's redemption depended on the Jews
Jews
living in the Land of Israel"[62] Rabbi Tzvi Kook said…It's "the Lord's land. Is it in our hands to give up even a millimeter?" The State of Israel
Israel
represented the "beginning of redemption" and was "the state that the prophets foresaw" when they spoke of the End of Days.[63] "…the Bible was the Jewish
Jewish
deed to the Land of Israel…"[64] "…the conquest as introducing the end of days, when 'nation shall not lift up sword against nation.'"[65] There were secular Israelis who saw "the West Bank
West Bank
as the historic patrimony of the Jewish
Jewish
people and control of this region as a matter of momentous historic importance."[58] Settlement building as punishment. "According to reports on Israel Radio, the development is a response to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers."[66] Settlements as bargaining chips for negotiations.[67]

Geography and municipal status

Upper left: Modiin
Modiin
bloc Upper middle: Mountain ridge settlements outside barrier Right: Jordan
Jordan
Valley

L above center: Latrun
Latrun
salient Center: Jerusalem
Jerusalem
envelope, Ma'ale Adumim
Ma'ale Adumim
at right

Lower L of center: Etzion bloc Lower center: Judean Desert Lower right: Dead Sea

Upper L: 3 are outside barrier Top L of center: part of Israel's unilateral disengagement Whole right: Jordan
Jordan
Valley

L: W. Samaria
Samaria
bloc to Kedumim Center: hills around Nablus/Shechem

Lower L: W. Samaria
Samaria
bloc to Ariel Lower middle: E. Trans- Samaria
Samaria
Hwy outside barrier

Some settlements are self-contained cities with a stable population in the tens of thousands, infrastructure, and all other features of permanence. Examples are Beitar Illit
Beitar Illit
(a city of close to 45,000 residents), Ma'ale Adumim, Modi'in Illit, and Ariel (almost 20,000 residents). Some are towns with a local council status with populations of 2,000–20,0000, such as Alfei Menashe, Eli, Elkana, Efrat
Efrat
and Kiryat Arba. There are also clusters of villages governed by a local elected committee and regional councils that are responsible for municipal services. Examples are Kfar Adumim, Neve Daniel, Kfar Tapuach and Ateret. Kibbutzim and moshavim in the territories include Argaman, Gilgal, Niran
Niran
and Yitav. Jewish
Jewish
neighborhoods have been built on the outskirts of Arab neighborhoods, for example in Hebron. In Jerusalem, there are urban neighborhoods where Jews
Jews
and Arabs live together: the Muslim Quarter, Silwan, Abu Tor, Sheikh Jarrah
Sheikh Jarrah
and Shimon HaTzadik. Under the Oslo Accords, the West Bank
West Bank
was divided into three separate parts designated as Area A, Area B and Area C. Leaving aside the position of East Jerusalem, all of the settlements are in Area C which comprises about 60% of the West Bank. Types of settlement

Cities/towns: Ariel, Betar
Betar
Illit, Modi'in Illit
Modi'in Illit
and Ma'ale Adumim. Urban suburbs, such as Har Gilo. Block settlements, such as Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
and settlements in the Nablus area. Frontier villages, such as those along the Jordan
Jordan
River. Outposts, small settlements, some authorized and some unauthorized, often on hilltops. The Sasson Report, commissioned by Ariel Sharon's administration, found that several government ministries had cooperated to establish illegal outposts, spending millions of dollars on infrastructure.[68]

Resettlement of former Jewish
Jewish
communities Some settlements were established on sites where Jewish
Jewish
communities had existed during the British Mandate of Palestine.

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Jewish
Jewish
presence alongside other peoples since biblical times, various surrounding communities and neighborhoods, including Kfar Shiloah, also known as Silwan—settled by Yemenite Jews
Jews
in 1884, Jewish
Jewish
residents evacuated in 1938, a few Jewish
Jewish
families move into reclaimed homes in 2004.[69]

Other communities: Shimon HaTzadik, Neve Yaakov
Neve Yaakov
and Atarot
Atarot
which in post-1967 was rebuilt as an industrial zone.

Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
– four communities, established between 1927 and 1947, destroyed 1948, reestablished beginning 1967.[70] Hebron
Hebron
Jewish
Jewish
presence since biblical times, forced out in the wake of the 1929 Hebron
Hebron
massacre, some families returned in 1931 but were evacuated by the British, a few buildings resettled in 1967.[71] Kfar Darom
Kfar Darom
– established in 1946, evacuated in 1948, resettled in 1970, evacuated in 2005 as part of the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.[72] Kalia and Beit HaArava
Beit HaArava
– the former was built in 1934 as a kibbutz for potash mining. The latter was built in 1943 as an agricultural community. Both were abandoned in 1948, and subsequently destroyed by Jordanian forces, and resettled after the Six-Day War.[citation needed] Gaza City
Gaza City
had a Jewish
Jewish
community for many centuries that was evacuated following riots in 1929. After the Six-Day War, Jewish
Jewish
communities were built elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, but not in Gaza City proper.[citation needed]

Demographics See also: Population statistics for Israeli West Bank
West Bank
settlements

Settler population by year in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and Golan Heights
Golan Heights
1972-2007 [73][74]

At the end of 2010, 534,224 Jewish
Jewish
Israeli lived in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 314,132 of them lived in the 121 authorised settlements and 102 unauthorised settlement outposts on the West Bank, 198,629 were living in East Jerusalem, and almost 20,000 lived in settlements in the Golan Heights. In 2011, 328,423 Israeli Jews
Jews
were living on the West Bank, excluding Jerusalem, and the Jewish
Jewish
population in the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
exceeded 20,000.[54] For the year 2012, the Jewish
Jewish
population in the West Bank
West Bank
settlements excluding East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
was expected to rise to 350,000.[75] In May 2014, the Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who himself lives in the West Bank
West Bank
settlement of Kfar Adumim, put the settler population at up to 750,000: 400,000 in the West Bank
West Bank
and up to 350,000 in East Jerusalem. He stated: "I think that in five years there will be 550,000 or 600,000 Jews
Jews
in Judea
Judea
and Samaria, rather than 400,000 (now)".[76] By the end of 2016, the West Bank
West Bank
Jewish
Jewish
population rose to 420,899, excluding East Jerusalem, where there were more than 200,000 Jews.[77] Note: due to change of definition, the number of settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
decreased in 1997 from 138 to 121 (outposts not included). Based on various sources,[54][76][78][79][80][81][82][83] population dispersal can be estimated as follows:

Settler population 1948 1972 1977 1980 1983 1993 2004 2007 2010 2014

West Bank
West Bank
(excluding Jerusalem) 480 (see Gush Etzion) 1,182 3,200[84] -4,400[85]

17,400 22,800 111,600 234,500 276,500[86] 314,100[54] 400,000[76]

Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
2 30 (see Kfar Darom) 700 1

900 4,800 7,826 0 0 0

Golan Heights 0 77

6,800 12,600 17,265 18,692 19,797 21,000[83]

East Jerusalem 2,300 (see Jewish
Jewish
Quarter, Atarot, Neve Yaakov) 8,649

76,095 152,800 181,587 189,708 198,629 300,000-350,000

Total 2,810 10,608 1

106,595 281,800 441,178 485,170 532,526 721,000-771,000

1 including Sinai 2 Janet Abu-Lughod mentions 500 settlers in Gaza in 1978 (excluding Sinai), and 1,000 in 1980 [87]

In addition to internal migration, in large though declining numbers, the settlements absorb annually about 1000 new immigrants from outside Israel. In the 1990s, the annual settler population growth was more than three times the annual population growth in Israel.[88] Population growth has continued in the 2000s.[89] According to the BBC, the settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
have been growing at a rate of 5–6% since 2001.[90] In 2016, there were sixty thousand American Israelis living in settlements in the West Bank.[91] The establishment of settlements in the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
is linked to the displacement of the Palestinian populations as evidenced by a 1979 Security Council Commission which established a link between Israeli settlements and the displacement of the local population. The commission also found that those who remained were under consistent pressure to leave to make room for further settlers who were being encouraged into the area. In conclusion the commission stated that settlement in the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
was causing "profound and irreversible changes of a geographic and demographic nature".[92] Administration and local government West Bank Main article: Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
Area

Map of the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
with Israeli Settlements, 2007

Yamit
Yamit
in the Sinai, between 1975 and 1980, evacuated by Israel
Israel
in 1982

Neve Dekalim, Gaza Strip, evacuated by Israel
Israel
in 2005

The Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
make up what Israel
Israel
calls the Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
Area. Since December 2007, approval by both the Israeli Prime Minister and Israeli Defense Minister of all settlement activities (including planning) in the West Bank
West Bank
is required.[93] Authority for planning and construction is held by the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces Civil Administration. The area consists of four cities, thirteen local councils and six regional councils.

Cities: Ariel, Betar
Betar
Illit, Maale Adumim, Modi'in Illit; Local councils: Alfei Menashe, Beit Aryeh-Ofarim, Beit El, Efrat, Elkana, Giv'at Ze'ev, Har Adar, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Kiryat Arba, Ma'ale Efraim, Oranit; Regional councils: Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
(Ezion Bloc), Har Hebron
Hebron
(Mount Hebron), Matte Binyamin (Staff of Benjamin, named after the ancient Israelite tribe that dwelled in the area), Megilot (Scrolls, named after the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
scrolls, which were discovered in the area), Shomron Regional Council
Shomron Regional Council
(Samaria), Biq'at HaYarden ( Jordan
Jordan
valley).

The Yesha Council (Hebrew: מועצת יש"ע‎, Moatzat Yesha, a Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria
Samaria
and Gaza) is the umbrella organization of municipal councils in the West Bank. The actual buildings of the Israeli settlements cover only 1 percent of the West Bank, but their jurisdiction and their regional councils extend to about 42 percent of the West Bank, according to the Israeli NGO B'Tselem. Yesha Council chairman Dani Dayan
Dani Dayan
disputes the figures and claims that the settlements only control 9.2 percent of the West Bank.[94] Between 2001 and 2007 more than 10,000 Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
units were built, while 91 permits were issued for Palestinian construction, and 1,663 Palestinian structures were demolished in Area C.[95] West Bank
West Bank
Palestinians
Palestinians
have their cases tried in Israel's military courts while Jewish
Jewish
Israeli settlers living in the same occupied territory are tried in civil courts.[96] The arrangement has been described as "de facto segregation" by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.[97] A bill to formally extend Israeli law to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
was rejected in 2012.[98] On 31 August 2014, Israel
Israel
announced it was appropriating 400 hectares of land in the West Bank
West Bank
to eventually house 1,000 Israel
Israel
families. The appropriation was described as the largest in more than 30 years.[99] According to reports on Israel
Israel
Radio, the development is a response to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers.[99] East Jerusalem East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
is defined in the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Law as part of Israel
Israel
and its capital, Jerusalem. As such it is administered as part of the city and its district, the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
District. Pre-1967 residents of East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and their descendants have residency status in the city but many have refused Israeli citizenship. Thus, the Israeli government maintains an administrative distinction between Israeli citizens
Israeli citizens
and non-citizens in East Jerusalem, but the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
municipality does not. Golan Heights The Golan Heights
Golan Heights
is administered under Israeli civil law as the Golan sub-district, a part of the Northern District. Israel
Israel
makes no legal or administrative distinction between pre-1967 communities in the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
(mainly Druze) and the post-1967 settlements. Sinai
Sinai
Peninsula See also: Category:Former Israeli settlements in Sinai After the capture of the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
from Egypt
Egypt
in the 1967 Six-Day War, settlements were established along the Gulf of Aqaba and in the northeast, just below the Gaza Strip. It had plans to expand the settlement of Yamit
Yamit
into a city with a population of 200,000,[100] though the actual population of Yamit
Yamit
did not exceed 3,000.[101] The Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
was returned to Egypt
Egypt
in stages beginning in 1979 as part of the Egypt– Israel
Israel
Peace Treaty. As required by the treaty, Israel
Israel
evacuated the civilian population, which took place in 1982. Some evacuation was done forcefully in some instances, such as the evacuation of Yamit. Gaza Strip See also: Population statistics for Israeli Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
settlements Before Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
in which the Israeli settlements were evacuated, there were 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip under the administration of the Hof Aza Regional Council. The land was allocated in such a way that each Israeli settler disposed of 400 times the land available to the Palestinian refugees, and 20 times the volume of water allowed to the peasant farmers of the Strip.[102] Legal status Main article: International law and Israeli settlements

Gilo, East Jerusalem

Pisgat Ze'ev, East Jerusalem

Katzrin, Golan Heights

The consensus view[103] in the international community is that the existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
including East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
is in violation of international law.[104] The Fourth Geneva Convention
Fourth Geneva Convention
includes statements such as "the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".[105] At present, the view of the international community, as reflected in numerous UN resolutions, regards the building and existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
and the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
as a violation of international law.[106][107][108] UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention
Fourth Geneva Convention
as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel
Israel
to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup. The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
has declared the settlements illegal[109] as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice.[110] The position of successive Israeli governments is that all authorized settlements are entirely legal and consistent with international law.[111] In practice, Israel
Israel
does not accept that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies de jure, but has stated that on humanitarian issues it will govern itself de facto by its provisions, without specifying which these are.[112][113] The scholar and jurist Eugene Rostow[114] has disputed the illegality of authorized settlements. Under Israeli law, West Bank
West Bank
settlements must meet specific criteria to be legal.[115] In 2009, there were approximately 100[90] small communities that did not meet these criteria and are referred to as illegal outposts.[116][117][118] In 2014 twelve EU countries warned businesses against involving themselves in the settlements. According to the warnings, economic activities relating to the settlements involve legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the settlements are built on occupied land not recognized as Israel's.[119][120] Illegality arguments After the Six-Day War, in 1967, Theodor Meron, legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry
Israeli Foreign Ministry
stated in a legal opinion to the Prime Minister,

"My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention."[121]

This legal opinion was sent to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. However, it was not made public at the time. The Labor cabinet allowed settlements despite the warning. This paved the way for future settlement growth. In 2007, Meron stated that "I believe that I would have given the same opinion today."[122] In 1978, the Legal Adviser of the Department of State
Legal Adviser of the Department of State
of the United States reached the same conclusion.[116][123] The International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion, has since ruled that Israel
Israel
is in breach of international law by establishing settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Court maintains that Israel
Israel
cannot rely on its right of self-defense or necessity to impose a regime that violates international law. The Court also ruled that Israel
Israel
violates basic human rights by impeding liberty of movement and the inhabitants' right to work, health, education and an adequate standard of living.[124] International intergovernmental organizations such as the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention,[125] major organs of the United Nations,[126] the European Union, and Canada,[127] also regard the settlements as a violation of international law. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination wrote that "The status of the settlements was clearly inconsistent with Article 3 of the Convention, which, as noted in the Committee's General Recommendation XIX, prohibited all forms of racial segregation in all countries. There is a consensus among publicists that the prohibition of racial discrimination, irrespective of territories, is an imperative norm of international law."[128] Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
have also characterized the settlements as a violation of international law. In late January 2013 a report drafted by three justices, presided over by Christine Chanet, and issued by the United Nations
United Nations
Human Rights Council declared that Jewish
Jewish
settlements constituted a creeping annexation based on multiple violations of the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
and international law, and stated that if Palestine ratified the Rome Accord, Israel
Israel
could be tried for "gross violations of human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law.' A spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry declared the report ‘unfortunate' and accused the UN's Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council
of a "systematically one-sided and biased approach towards Israel." [129] According to Talia Sasson, the High Court of Justice in Israel, with a variety of different justices sitting, has repeatedly stated for more than 4 decades that Israel's presence in the West Bank
West Bank
is in violation of international law.[130] Legality arguments Four prominent jurists cited the concept of the "sovereignty vacuum" in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
to describe the legal status of the West Bank
West Bank
and Gaza:[131] Yehuda Zvi Blum in 1968,[132] Elihu Lauterpacht in 1968,[133] Julius Stone in 1969[134] and 1981,[135] and Stephen M. Schwebel
Stephen M. Schwebel
in 1970.[136] Eugene V. Rostow
Eugene V. Rostow
also argued in 1979 that the occupied territories' legal status was undetermined.[137]

Stephen M. Schwebel[138] made three distinctions specific to the Israeli situation to claim that the territories were seized in self-defense and that Israel
Israel
has more title to them than the previous holders. Professor Julius Stone also wrote that "Israel's presence in all these areas pending negotiation of new borders is entirely lawful, since Israel
Israel
entered them lawfully in self-defense."[139] He argued that it would be an "irony bordering on the absurd" to read Article 49(6) as meaning that the State of Israel
Israel
was obliged to ensure (by force if necessary) that areas with a millennial association with Jewish
Jewish
life, shall be forever "judenrein".[140]

Professor Ben Saul took exception to this view, arguing that Article 49(6) can be read to include voluntary or assisted transfers, as indeed it was in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice which had expressed this interpretation in the Israeli Wall Advisory Opinion (2003).[141] Israel
Israel
maintains that a temporary use of land and buildings for various purposes is permissible under a plea of military necessity and that the settlements fulfilled security needs.[142] Israel
Israel
argues that its settlement policy is consistent with international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, while recognising that some settlements have been constructed illegally on private land.[143] The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the power of the Civil Administration and the Military Commander in the occupied territories is limited by the entrenched customary rules of public international law as codified in the Hague Regulations and Geneva Convention IV.[144][145][146] In 1998 the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs produced "The International Criminal Court Background Paper".[147] It concludes

International law has long recognised that there are crimes of such severity they should be considered "international crimes." Such crimes have been established in treaties such as the Genocide Convention and the Geneva Conventions.... The following are Israel's primary issues of concern [ie with the rules of the ICC]: The inclusion of settlement activity as a "war crime" is a cynical attempt to abuse the Court for political ends. The implication that the transfer of civilian population to occupied territories can be classified as a crime equal in gravity to attacks on civilian population centres or mass murder is preposterous and has no basis in international law.

A UN conference was held in Rome in 1998, where Israel
Israel
was one of seven countries to vote against the Rome Statute to establish the International Criminal Court. Israel
Israel
was opposed to a provision that included as a war crime the transfer of civilian populations into territory the government occupies.[148] Israel
Israel
has signed the statute, but not ratified the treaty.[149] Land ownership

Elon Moreh, West Bank

By Israeli law, privately owned land can not be part of a settlement, unless the land in question has been confiscated for military purposes.[115] In 2006 Peace Now
Peace Now
acquired a report, which it claims was leaked from the Israeli Government's Civil Administration, indicating that up to 40 percent of the land Israel
Israel
plans to retain in the West Bank
West Bank
is privately owned by Palestinians.[150] Peace Now called this a violation of Israeli law.[151] Peace Now
Peace Now
published a comprehensive report about settlements on private lands.[152][153] In the wake of a legal battle, Peace Now
Peace Now
lowered the figure to 32 percent, which the Civil Administration also denied.[154] The Washington Post reported that "The 38-page report offers what appears to be a comprehensive argument against the Israeli government's contention that it avoids building on private land, drawing on the state's own data to make the case."[155] In February 2008, the Civil Administration stated that the land on which more than a third of West Bank
West Bank
settlements was built had been expropriated by the IDF for "security purposes."[156] The unauthorized seizure of private Palestinian land was defined by the Civil Administration itself as 'theft.'[157] According to B'Tselem, more than 42 percent of the West Bank
West Bank
are under control of the Israeli settlements, 21 percent of which was seized from private Palestinian owners, much of it in violation of the 1979 Israeli Supreme Court decision.[94] In 1979, the government decided to extend settlements or build new ones only on "state lands".[55][115] A secret database, drafted by a retired senior officer, Baruch Spiegel, on orders from former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, found that some settlements deemed legal by Israel
Israel
were illegal outposts, and that large portions of Ofra, Elon Moreh
Elon Moreh
and Beit El
Beit El
were built on private Palestinian land. The "Spiegel report" was revealed by Haaretz in 2009. Many settlements are largely built on private lands, without approval of the Israeli Government.[158] According to Israel, the bulk of the land was vacant, was leased from the state, or bought fairly from Palestinian landowners. Invoking the Absentee Property Law to transfer, sell or lease property in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
owned by Palestinians
Palestinians
who live elsewhere without compensation has been criticized both inside and outside of Israel.[159] Opponents of the settlements claim that "vacant" land belonged to Arabs who fled or collectively to an entire village, a practice that developed under Ottoman rule. B'Tselem
B'Tselem
charged that Israel
Israel
is using the absence of modern legal documents for the communal land as a legal basis for expropriating it. These "abandoned lands" are sometimes laundered through a series of fraudulent sales.[160] According to Amira Hass, one of the techniques used by Israel
Israel
to expropriate Palestinian land is to place desired areas under a 'military firing zone' classification, and then issue orders for the evacuation of Palestinians
Palestinians
from the villages in that range, while allowing contiguous Jewish
Jewish
settlements to remain unaffected.[161] Effects on Palestinian human rights

Parts of the West Bank
West Bank
allocated to the settlements, as of January 2012 (in pink and purple color). Access is prohibited or restricted to Palestinians.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International
argues that Israel's settlement policy is discriminatory and a violation of Palestinian human rights.[162] B'Tselem
B'Tselem
claims that Israeli travel restrictions impact on Palestinian freedom of movement[163] and Palestinian human rights have been violated in Hebron
Hebron
due to the presence of the settlers within the city.[164][165][166] According to B'Tselem, over fifty percent of West Bank land expropriated from Palestinians
Palestinians
has been used to establish settlements and create reserves of land for their future expansion. The seized lands mainly benefit the settlements and Palestinians cannot use them.[167] The roads built by Israel
Israel
in the West Bank
West Bank
to serve the settlements are closed to Palestinian vehicles'[168][169] and act as a barrier often between villages and the lands on which they subsist.[170] Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
and other human rights observer volunteer regularly file reports on "settler violence," referring to stoning and shooting incidents involving Israeli settlers.[171] Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and Hebron
Hebron
have led to violent settler protests and disputes over land and resources. Meron Benvenisti described the settlement enterprise as a "commercial real estate project that conscripts Zionist rhetoric for profit."[172] The construction of the Israeli West Bank
West Bank
barrier has been criticized as an infringement on Palestinian human and land rights. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
estimated that 10% of the West Bank
West Bank
would fall on the Israeli side of the barrier.[173][174] In July 2012, the UN Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council
decided to set up a probe into Jewish
Jewish
settlements. The report of the independent international fact-finding mission which investigated the "implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people
Palestinian people
throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory" was published in February 2013.[175] Economy Goods produced in Israeli settlements are able to stay competitive on the global market, in part because of massive state subsidies they receive from the Israeli government. Farmers and producers are given state assistance, while companies that set up in the territories receive tax breaks and direct government subsidies. An Israeli government fund has also been established to help companies pay customs penalties.[176] Palestinian officials estimate that settlers sell goods worth some $500 million to the Palestinian market.[177] Israel
Israel
has built 16 industrial zones, containing roughly 1000 industrial plants, in the West Bank
West Bank
and East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
on acreage that consumes large parts of the territory planned for a future Palestinian state. According to Jodi Rudoren these installations both entrench the occupation and provide work for Palestinians, even those opposed to it. The 16 parks are located at Shaked, Beka'ot, Baran, Karnei Shomron, Emmanuel, Barkan, Ariel, Shilo, Halamish, Ma'ale Efraim, Sha'ar Binyamin, Atarot, Mishor Adumim, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba
Kiryat Arba
and Metarim (2001).[178] Export to EU According to Israeli government estimates, $230 million worth of settler goods including fruit, vegetables, cosmetics, textiles and toys are exported to the EU each year, accounting for approximately 2% of all Israeli exports to Europe.[176] A 2013 report of Profundo revealed that at least 38 Dutch companies imported settlement products.[179] European Union
European Union
law requires a distinction to be made between goods originating in Israel
Israel
and those from the occupied territories. The former benefit from preferential custom treatment according to the EU- Israel
Israel
Association Agreement (2000); the latter don't, having been explicitly excluded from the agreement.[176][180] In practice, however, settler goods often avoid mandatory customs through being labelled as originating in Israel, while European customs authorities commonly fail to complete obligatory postal code checks of products to ensure they have not originated in the occupied territories.[176][179] In 2009, the United Kingdom's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued new guidelines concerning labelling of goods imported from the West Bank. The new guidelines require labelling to clarify whether West Bank
West Bank
products originate from settlements or from the Palestinian economy. Israel's foreign ministry said that the UK was "catering to the demands of those whose ultimate goal is the boycott of Israeli products"; but this was denied by the UK government, who said that the aim of the new regulations was to allow consumers to choose for themselves what produce they buy.[180] Denmark has similar legislation requiring food products from settlements in the occupied territories to be accurately labelled.[176] Palestinian economy and resources A Palestinian report argued in 2011 that settlements have a detrimental effect on the Palestinian economy, equivalent to about 85% of the nominal gross domestic product of Palestine, and that the "occupation enterprise" allows the state of Israel
Israel
and commercial firms to profit from Palestinian natural resources and tourist potential.[181] A 2013 report published by the World Bank
World Bank
analysed the impact that the limited access to Area C lands and resources had on the Palestinian economy. While settlements represent a single axis of control, it is the largest with 68% of the Area C lands reserved for the settlements. The report goes on to calculate that access to the lands and resources of Area C, including the territory in and around settlements, would increase the Palestinian GDP by some $3.5 billion (or 35%) per year.[182] The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that Israeli companies are entitled to exploit the West Bank's natural resources for economic gain, and that international law must be "adapted" to the "reality on the ground" of long-term occupation.[183] Palestinian labour Due to the availability of jobs offering twice the prevailing salary of the West Bank
West Bank
(as of August 2013[update]), as well as high unemployment, tens of thousands of Palestinians
Palestinians
work in Israeli settlements.[184][185] According to the Manufacturers Association of Israel, some 22,000 Palestinians
Palestinians
were employed in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and service industries.[186] An Al-Quds University study in 2011 found that 82% of Palestinian workers said they would prefer to not work in Israeli settlements if they had alternative employment in the West Bank.[184] Palestinians
Palestinians
have been highly involved in the construction of settlements in the West Bank. In 2013, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released their survey showing that the number of Palestinian workers who are employed by the Jewish
Jewish
settlements increased from 16,000 to 20,000 in the first quarter.[185] The survey also found that Palestinians
Palestinians
who work in Israel
Israel
and the settlements are paid more than twice their salary compared to what they receive from Palestinian employers.[185] In 2008, Kav LaOved charged that Palestinians
Palestinians
who work in Israeli settlements are not granted basic protections of Israeli labor law. Instead, they are employed under Jordanian labor law, which does not require minimum wage, payment for overtime and other social rights. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Israel
Supreme Court of Israel
ruled that Israeli labor law does apply to Palestinians
Palestinians
working in West Bank
West Bank
settlements and applying different rules in the same work place constituted discrimination. The ruling allowed Palestinian workers to file lawsuits in Israeli courts. In 2008, the average sum claimed by such lawsuits stood at 100,000 shekels.[187] According to Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 63% of Palestinians
Palestinians
opposed PA plans to prosecute Palestinians
Palestinians
who work in the settlements. However, 72% of Palestinians
Palestinians
support a boycott of the products they sell.[188] Although the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
has criminalized working in the settlements, the director-general at the Palestinian Ministry of Labor, Samer Salameh, described the situation in February 2014 as being "caught between two fires". He said "We strongly discourage work in the settlements, since the entire enterprise is illegal and illegitimate...but given the high unemployment rate and the lack of alternatives, we do not enforce the law that criminalizes work in the settlements."[184] Violence Israeli settler violence Main article: Israeli settler violence

"Gas the Arabs"; graffiti on the door of a home in Hebron, 2008

Olive trees in the village of Burin allegedly vandalized by settlers from the settlement Yitzhar
Yitzhar
in November 2009

Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim
Underground was a militant organization that operated in 1979–1984. The organization planned attacks on Palestinian officials and the Dome of the Rock.[189][190] In 1994, Baruch Goldstein
Baruch Goldstein
of Hebron, a member of Kach carried out the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, killing 29 Muslim worshipers and injuring 125. The attack was widely condemned by the Israeli government and Jewish
Jewish
community. The Palestinian leadership has accused Israel
Israel
of "encouraging and enabling" settler violence in a bid to provoke Palestinian riots and violence in retaliation.[191] Violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians
Palestinians
constitutes terrorism according to the U.S. Department of State, and former IDF Head of Central Command Avi Mizrahi stated that such violence constitutes "terror."[192] In mid-2008, a UN report recorded 222 acts of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians
Palestinians
and IDF troops compared with 291 in 2007.[193] This trend reportedly increased in 2009.[194] Maj-Gen Shamni said that the number had risen from a few dozen individuals to hundreds, and called it "a very grave phenomenon."[193] In 2008–2009, the defense establishment adopted a harder line against the extremists.[194] This group responded with a tactic dubbed "price tagging," vandalizing Palestinian property whenever police or soldiers were sent in to dismantle outposts.[195] From January through to September 2013, 276 attacks by settlers against Palestinians
Palestinians
were recorded.[196] Leading religious figures in the West Bank
West Bank
have harshly criticized these tactics. Rabbi Menachem Froman
Menachem Froman
of Tekoa said that "Targeting Palestinians
Palestinians
and their property is a shocking thing, (...) It's an act of hurting humanity. (...) This builds a wall of fire between Jews
Jews
and Arabs."[197] The Yesha Council and Hanan Porat
Hanan Porat
also condemned such actions.[198] Other rabbis have been accused of inciting violence against non-Jews.[199] In response to settler violence, the Israeli government said that it would increase law enforcement and cut off aid to illegal outposts.[200] Some settlers are thought to lash out at Palestinians
Palestinians
because they are "easy victims."[201] The United Nations accused Israel
Israel
of failing to intervene and arrest settlers suspected of violence.[202] In 2008, Haaretz
Haaretz
wrote that "Israeli society has become accustomed to seeing lawbreaking settlers receive special treatment and no other group could similarly attack Israeli law enforcement agencies without being severely punished."[203] In September 2011, settlers vandalized a mosque and an army base. They slashed tires and cut cables of 12 army vehicles and sprayed graffiti.[204] In November 2011, the United Nations
United Nations
Office for Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) in the Palestinian territories published a report on settler violence that showed a significant rise compared to 2009 and 2010. The report covered physical violence and property damage such as uprooted olive trees, damaged tractors and slaughtered sheep. The report states that 90% of complaints filed by Palestinians
Palestinians
have been closed without charge.[205] According to EU reports, Israel
Israel
has created an "atmosphere of impunity" for Jewish
Jewish
attackers, which is seen as tantamount to tacit approval by the state. In the West Bank, Jews
Jews
and Palestinians
Palestinians
live under two different legal regimes and it is difficult for Palestinians to lodge complaints, which must be filed in Hebrew in Israeli settlements.[206] The 27 ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union
European Union
published a report in May 2012 strongly denouncing policies of the State of Israel in the West Bank
West Bank
and denouncing "continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians."[207] The report by all EU ministers called "on the government of Israel
Israel
to bring the perpetrators to justice and to comply with its obligations under international law."[207] In July 2014, a day after the burial of three murdered Israeli teens. Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian, was forced into a car by 3 Israeli settlers on an East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
street. His family immediately reported the fact to Israeli Police who located his charred body a few hours later at Givat Shaul
Givat Shaul
in the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Forest. Preliminary results from the autopsy suggested that he was beaten and burnt while still alive.[208][209][210][211] The murder suspects explained the attack as a response to the June abduction and murder of three Israeli teens.[212][213] The murders contributed to a breakout of hostilities in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.[214] In July 2015, a similar incident occurred where Israeli settlers made an arson attack on two Palestinian houses, one of which was empty; however, the other was occupied, resulting in the burning to death of a Palestinian infant; the four other members of his family were evacuated to the hospital suffering serious injuries.[215] These two incidents received condemnation from the United States, European Union
European Union
and the IDF.[216] The European Union
European Union
criticized Israel
Israel
for "failing to protect the Palestinian population".[216] Olive trees While the Economy of the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
has shown signs of growth, the International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
reported that Palestinian olive farming has suffered. According to the ICRC, 10,000 olive trees were cut down or burned by settlers in 2007-2010.[217][218] Foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the report ignored official PA data showing that the economic situation of Palestinians
Palestinians
had improved substantially, citing Mahmoud Abbas's comment to The Washington Post
The Washington Post
in May 2009, where he said "in the West Bank, we have a good reality, the people are living a normal life."[217] Haaretz
Haaretz
blamed the violence during the olive harvest on a handful of extremists.[219] In 2010, trees belonging to both Jews
Jews
and Arabs were cut down, poisoned or torched. In the first two weeks of the harvest, 500 trees owned by Palestinians
Palestinians
and 100 trees owned by Jews
Jews
had been vandalized.[220] In October 2013, 100 trees were cut down.[221] Violent attacks on olive trees seem to be facilitated by the apparently systematic refusal of the Israeli authorities to allow Palestinians
Palestinians
to visit their own groves, some times for years, especially in cases where the groves are deemed to be too close to settlements.[222] Pro-Palestinian activist violence

Itamar, West Bank. Itamar's residents have been the target of deadly attacks by Palestinian militants and have themselves committed violent acts against local Palestinians

Funeral of Fogel family, killed in Itamar
Itamar
attack

Pro-Palestinian activists who hold regular protests near the settlements have been accused of stone-throwing, physical assault and provocation.[223][224][225] In 2008, Avshalom Peled, head of the Israel
Israel
Police's Hebron
Hebron
district, called "left-wing" activity in the city dangerous and provocative, and accused activists of antagonizing the settlers in the hope of getting a reaction.[226] Palestinian violence against settlers Settlers are targeted by Palestinian armed groups who, according to Human Rights Watch, say that settlers are a legitimate target because they have forfeited their civilian status by residing in settlements that are illegal under international humanitarian law.[227] Both Human Rights Watch and B'tselem
B'tselem
rejected this argument on the basis that the legal status of the settlements has no effect on the civilian status of their residents.[227][228] Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
said the "prohibition against intentional attacks against civilians is absolute".[227] B'tselem
B'tselem
said "The settlers constitute a distinctly civilian population, which is entitled to all the protections granted civilians by international law. The Israeli security forces' use of land in the settlements or the membership of some settlers in the Israeli security forces does not affect the status of the other residents living among them, and certainly does not make them proper targets of attack."[228] Fatal attacks on settlers have included firing of rockets and mortars and drive-by shootings, also targeting infants and children. Violent incidents include the murder of Shalhevet Pass, a ten-month-old baby shot by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron,[229] and the murder of two teenagers on 8 May 2001, whose bodies were hidden in a cave near Tekoa.[230] In the Bat Ayin
Bat Ayin
axe attack, children in Bat Ayin
Bat Ayin
were attacked by a Palestinian wielding an axe and a knife. A 13-year-old boy was killed and another was seriously wounded.[231] Rabbi Meir Hai, a father of seven, was killed in a drive-by shooting.[232][233] In August 2011, five members of one family were killed in their beds. The victims were the father Ehud (Udi) Fogel, the mother Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children—Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, the youngest, a three-month-old infant. According to David Ha'ivri,[234] and as reported by multiple sources,[235] the infant was decapitated.[236] Environmental issues Municipal Environmental Associations of Judea
Judea
and Samaria, an environmental awareness group, was established by the settlers to address sewage treatment problems and cooperate with the Palestinian Authority on environmental issues.[237] According to a Haaretz
Haaretz
study, settlers account for 10% of the population in the West Bank
West Bank
but produce 25% of the sewage output.[citation needed] Beit Duqqu
Beit Duqqu
and Qalqilyah
Qalqilyah
have accused settlers of polluting their farmland and villagers claim children have become ill after swimming in a local stream. Legal action was taken against 14 settlements by the Israeli Ministry of the Environment. The Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
has also been criticized by environmentalists for not doing more to prevent water pollution.[237][238] Settlers and Palestinians
Palestinians
share the mountain aquifer as a water source, and both generate sewage and industrial effluents that endanger the aquifer. Friends of the Earth Middle East claimed that sewage treatment was inadequate in both sectors. Sewage from Palestinian sources was estimated at 46 million cubic meters a year, and sources from settler sources at 15 million cubic meters a year. A 2004 study found that sewage was not sufficiently treated in many settlements, while sewage from Palestinian villages and cities flowed into unlined cesspits, streams and the open environment with no treatment at all.[237][239] In a 2007 study, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority
Israel Nature and Parks Authority
and Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, found that Palestinian towns and cities produced 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, 94 percent discharged without adequate treatment, while Israeli sources produced 17.5 million cubic meters per year, 31.5 percent without adequate treatment.[240] According to Palestinian environmentalists, the settlers operate industrial and manufacturing plants that can create pollution as many do not conform to Israeli standards.[237][238] In 2005, an old quarry between Kedumim
Kedumim
and Nablus
Nablus
was slated for conversion into an industrial waste dump. Pollution experts warned that the dump would threaten Palestinian water sources.[241] Impact on Palestinian demographics

Road to Kiryat Arba, Hebron, 2010

The Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration (CARIM) has reported in their 2011 migration profile for Palestine that the reasons for individuals to leave the country are similar to those of other countries in the region and they attribute less importance to the specific political situation of the occupied Palestinian territory.[242] Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
in 2010 reported that Israeli settlement policies have had the effect of "forcing residents to leave their communities".[243][244] In 2008, Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
suggested sending Palestinian refugees to South America, which might reduce pressure on Israel
Israel
to withdraw from the settlements.[245] Sushil P. Seth speculates that Israelis seem to feel[weasel words] that increasing settlements will force many Palestinians
Palestinians
to flee to other countries and that the remainder will be forced to live under Israeli terms.[246] Speaking anonymously with regard to Israeli policies in the South Hebron
Hebron
Hills, a UN expert said that the Israeli crackdown on alternative energy infrastructures like solar panels is part of a deliberate strategy in Area C.

"From December 2010 to April 2011, we saw a systematic targeting of the water infrastructure in Hebron, Bethlehem
Bethlehem
and the Jordan
Jordan
valley. Now, in the last couple of months, they are targeting electricity. Two villages in the area have had their electrical poles demolished. There is this systematic effort by the civil administration targeting all Palestinian infrastructure in Hebron. They are hoping that by making it miserable enough, they [the Palestinians] will pick up and leave."

Approximately 1,500 people in 16 communities, living in the area since the 19th century, and dependent on energy produced by these installations duct business are threatened with work stoppage orders from the Israeli administration on their installation of alternative power infrastructure, and demolition orders expected to follow will darken the homes of 500 people.[247][248] Educational institutions

Ariel University

Ariel University, formerly the College of Judea
Judea
and Samaria, is the major Israeli institution of higher education in the West Bank. With close to 13,000 students, it is Israel's largest public college. The college was accredited in 1994 and awards bachelor's degrees in arts, sciences, technology, architecture and physical therapy.[249] The school's current temporary status is that of a "university institution" conferred by the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces, but it remains without university accreditation.[250] 500 Arabs begin studies in Ariel saying 'There's no racism here'.[251] Teacher training colleges include Herzog College in Alon Shvut
Alon Shvut
and Orot Israel
Israel
College in Elkana. Ohalo College
Ohalo College
is located in Katzrin, in the Golan Heights.[249] Curricula at these institutions are overseen by the Council for Higher Education in Judea
Judea
and Samaria (CHE-JS).[252] In March 2012, The Shomron Regional Council
Shomron Regional Council
was awarded the Israeli Ministry of Education's first prize National Education Award in recognizing its excellence in investing substantial resources in the educational system.[253] The Shomron Regional Council
Shomron Regional Council
achieved the highest marks in all parameters (9.28 / 10). Gershon Mesika, the head of the regional council, declared that the award was a certificate of honour of its educators and the settlement youth who proved their quality and excellence.[254] Strategic significance

IDF soldiers and Israeli settlers, 2009

In 1983 an Israeli government plan entitled "Master Plan and Development Plan for Settlement in Samaria
Samaria
and Judea" envisaged placing a "maximally large Jewish
Jewish
population" in priority areas to accomplish incorporation of the West Bank
West Bank
in the Israeli "national system".[255] According to Ariel Sharon, strategic settlement locations would work to preclude the formation of a Palestinian state.[256] Palestinians
Palestinians
argue that the policy of settlements constitutes an effort to preempt or sabotage a peace treaty that includes Palestinian sovereignty, and claim that the presence of settlements harm the ability to have a viable and contiguous state.[257][258] This was also the view of the Israeli Vice Prime Minister Haim Ramon
Haim Ramon
in 2008, saying "the pressure to enlarge Ofra
Ofra
and other settlements does not stem from a housing shortage, but rather is an attempt to undermine any chance of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians
Palestinians
..."[259] The Israel
Israel
Foreign Ministry asserts that some settlements are legitimate, as they took shape when there was no operative diplomatic arrangement, and thus they did not violate any agreement.[260][261][262] Based on this, they assert that:

Prior to the signing of the Egypt– Israel
Israel
Peace Treaty, the eruption of the First Intifada, down to the signing of the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994, Israeli governments on the left and right argued that the settlements were of strategic and tactical importance. The location of the settlements was primarily chosen based on the threat of an attack by the bordering hostile countries of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt
Egypt
and possible routes of advance into Israeli population areas. These settlements were seen as contributing to the security of Israel at a time when peace treaties had not been signed.[263][264][265]

Dismantling of settlements Further information: Israel's unilateral disengagement plan

IDF soldiers evacuating Yamit, 1982

An early evacuation took place in 1982 as part of the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, when Israel
Israel
was required to evacuate its settlers from the 18 Sinai
Sinai
settlements. Arab parties to the conflict had demanded the dismantlement of the settlements as a condition for peace with Israel. The evacuation was carried out with force in some instances, for example in Yamit. The settlements were demolished, as it was feared that settlers might try to return to their homes after the evacuation. Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
took place in 2005. It involved the evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and part of the West Bank, including all 21 settlements in Gaza and four in the West Bank, while retaining control over Gaza's borders, coastline, and airspace. Most of these settlements had existed since the early 1980s, some were over 30 years old;[266] the total population involved was more than 10,000[citation needed]. There was significant opposition to the plan among parts of the Israeli public, and especially those living in the territories. George W. Bush
George W. Bush
said that a permanent peace deal would have to reflect "demographic realities" in the West Bank
West Bank
regarding Israel's settlements.[267] Within the former settlements, almost all buildings were demolished by Israel, with the exception of certain government and religious structures, which were completely emptied. Under an international arrangement, productive greenhouses were left to assist the Palestinian economy but about 30% of these were destroyed within hours by Palestinian looters.[268] Following the withdrawal, many of the former synagogues were torched and destroyed by Palestinians.[269] The Palestinian leadership "maintained" that the synagogues were "symbols of Israeli occupation." Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations
at the time, said the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
had a "moral responsibility to protect the synagogues as places with religious significance."[270] Some believe that settlements need not necessarily be dismantled and evacuated, even if Israel
Israel
withdraws from the territory where they stand, as they can remain under Palestinian rule. These ideas have been expressed both by left-wing Israelis,[271] and by Palestinians who advocate the two-state solution, and by extreme Israeli right-wingers and settlers[272] who object to any dismantling and claim links to the land that are stronger than the political boundaries of the state of Israel. The Israeli government has often threatened to dismantle outposts. Some have actually been dismantled, occasionally with use of force; this led to settler violence. Palestinian statehood bid of 2011 American refusal to declare the settlements illegal was said to be the determining factor in the 2011 attempt to declare Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, the so-called Palestine 194 initiative.[273] Israel
Israel
announced additional settlements in response to the Palestinian diplomatic initiative and Germany responded by moving to stop deliveries to Israel
Israel
of submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons.[274] Finally in 2012, several European states switched to either abstain or vote for statehold in response to continued settlement construction.[275] Israel
Israel
approved further settlements in response to the vote, which brought further worldwide condemnation.[276][277] Impact on peace process Main article: Israeli–Palestinian peace process

Ariel, one of the four biggest settlements in the West Bank

Betar
Betar
Illit, one of the four biggest settlements in the West Bank

Ma'ale Adumim, one of the four biggest settlements in the West Bank, industrial area, 2012

Modi'in Illit, one of the four biggest settlements in the West Bank

The settlements have been a source of tension between Israel
Israel
and the U.S. Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
regarded the settlements as illegal and tactically unwise. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
stated that they were legal but an obstacle to negotiations.[278] In 1991, the U.S. delayed a subsidized loan to pressure Israel
Israel
on the subject of settlement-building in the Jerusalem- Bethlehem
Bethlehem
corridor. In 2005, U.S. declared support for "the retention by Israel
Israel
of major Israeli population centers as an outcome of negotiations,"[279] reflecting the statement by George W. Bush
George W. Bush
that a permanent peace treaty would have to reflect "demographic realities" in the West Bank.[280] In June 2009, Barack Obama said that the United States "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."[281] Palestinians
Palestinians
claim that Israel
Israel
has undermined the Oslo accords and peace process by continuing to expand the settlements. Settlements in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
were evacuated and razed in the wake of the peace agreement with Egypt. The 27 ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union
European Union
published a report in May 2012 strongly denouncing policies of the State of Israel
Israel
in the West Bank
West Bank
and finding that Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
are illegal and "threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."[207] In the framework of the Oslo I Accord of 1993 between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a modus vivendi was reached whereby both parties agreed to postpone a final solution on the destination of the settlements to the permanent status negotiations (Article V.3). Israel
Israel
claims that settlements thereby were not prohibited, since there is no explicit interim provision prohibiting continued settlement construction, the agreement does register an undertaking by both sides, namely that "Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations" (Article XXX1 (7)), which has been interpreted as, not forbidding settlements, but imposing severe restrictions on new settlement building after that date.[282] Melanie Jacques argued in this context that even 'agreements between Israel
Israel
and the Palestinians
Palestinians
which would allow settlements in the OPT, or simply tolerate them pending a settlement of the conflict, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.'[282] Final status proposals have called for retaining long-established communities along the Green Line and transferring the same amount of land in Israel
Israel
to the Palestinian state. The Clinton administration proposed that Israel
Israel
keep some settlements in the West Bank, especially those in large blocs near the pre-1967 borders of Israel, with the Palestinians
Palestinians
receiving concessions of land in other parts of the country.[283] Both Clinton and Tony Blair
Tony Blair
pointed out the need for territorial and diplomatic compromise based on the validity of some of the claims of both sides.[284][285] Fayed Mustafa, Palestinian ambassador to Russia, called for the return of Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
to Egypt
Egypt
and Jordan
Jordan
if talks failed.[286] As Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
approved a plan requiring security commitments in exchange for withdrawal from the West Bank.[287] Barak also expressed readiness to cede parts of East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
and put the holy sites in the city under a "special regime."[288] On 14 June 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as an answer to U.S. President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo, delivered a speech setting out his principles for a Palestinian-Israeli peace, among others, he alleged "... we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements."[289] In March 2010, the Netanyahu government announced plans for building 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo
Ramat Shlomo
across the Green Line in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel
Israel
causing a diplomatic row.[290] On 6 September 2010, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
said that Israel
Israel
would need to withdraw from all of the lands occupied in 1967 in order to achieve peace with the Palestinians.[291] Bradley Burston has said that a negotiated or unilateral withdraw from most of the settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
is gaining traction in Israel.[292] In November 2010, the United States offered to "fight against efforts to delegitimize Israel" and provide extra arms to Israel
Israel
in exchange for a continuation of the settlement freeze and a final peace agreement, but failed to come to an agreement with the Israelis on the exact terms.[293][294] In December 2010, the United States criticised efforts by the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
to impose borders for the two states through the United Nations
United Nations
rather than through direct negotiations between the two sides.[295] In February 2011, it vetoed a draft resolution to condemn all Jewish
Jewish
settlements established in the occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal.[296] The resolution, which was supported by all other Security Council members and co-sponsored by nearly 120 nations,[297] would have demanded that "Israel, as the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and that it fully respect its legal obligations in this regard."[298] The U.S. representative said that while it agreed that the settlements were illegal, the resolution would harm chances for negotiations.[298] Israel's deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, said that the "UN serves as a rubber stamp for the Arab countries and, as such, the General Assembly has an automatic majority," and that the vote "proved that the United States is the only country capable of advancing the peace process and the only righteous one speaking the truth: that direct talks between Israel
Israel
and the Palestinians
Palestinians
are required."[299] Palestinian negotiators, however, have refused to resume direct talks until Israel
Israel
ceases all settlement activity.[298] In November 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank
West Bank
in an attempt to restart negotiations with the Palestinians. The freeze did not apply to building in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in areas across the green line, housing already under construction and existing construction described as "essential for normal life in the settlements" such as synagogues, schools, kindergartens and public buildings. The Palestinians
Palestinians
refused to negotiate without a complete halt to construction.[300][301] In the face of pressure from the United States and most world powers supporting the demand by the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
that Israel
Israel
desist from settlement project in 2010, Israel's ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben said Israel
Israel
would only stop settlement construction after a peace agreement is concluded, and expressed concern were Arab countries to press for UN recognition of a Palestinian state before such an accord. He cited Israel's dismantlement of settlements in both the Sinai
Sinai
which took place after a peace agreement, and its unilateral dismantlement of settlements in the Gaza Strip. He presumed that settlements would stop being built were Palestinians
Palestinians
to establish a state in a given area.[302] Proposals for land swap The Clinton Parameters, a 2000 peace proposal by then U.S. President Bill Clinton, included a plan on which the Palestinian State was to include 94–96% of the West Bank, and around 80% of the settlers were to be under Israeli sovereignty, and in exchange for that, Israel
Israel
will concede some territory (so called 'Territory Exchange' or 'Land Swap') within the Green Line (1967 borders). The swap would consist of 1–3% of Israeli territory, such that the final borders of the West Bank part of the Palestinian state would include 97% of the land of the original borders.[303] In 2010, Palestinian Authority
Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
said that the Palestinians
Palestinians
and Israel
Israel
have agreed on the principle of a land swap. The issue of the ratio of land Israel
Israel
would give to the Palestinians in exchange for keeping settlement blocs is an issue of dispute, with the Palestinians
Palestinians
demanding that the ratio be 1:1, and Israel
Israel
insisting that other factors be considered as well.[304] Under any peace deal with the Palestinians, Israel
Israel
intends to keep the major settlement blocs close to its borders, which contain over 80% of the settlers. Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
have all stated Israel's intent to keep such blocs under any peace agreement. U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
acknowledged that such areas should be annexed to Israel
Israel
in a 2004 letter to Prime Minister Sharon.[305] The European Union
European Union
position is that any annexation of settlements should be done as part of mutually agreed land swaps, which would see the Palestinians
Palestinians
controlling territory equivalent to the territory captured in 1967.[306] The EU says that it will not recognise any changes to the 1967 borders without an agreement between the parties. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman
has proposed a plan which would see settlement blocs annexed to Israel
Israel
in exchange for heavily Arab areas inside Israel
Israel
as part of a population exchange. According to Mitchell G. Bard: "Ultimately, Israel
Israel
may decide to unilaterally disengage from the West Bank
West Bank
and determine which settlements it will incorporate within the borders it delineates. Israel
Israel
would prefer, however, to negotiate a peace treaty with the Palestinians
Palestinians
that would specify which Jewish
Jewish
communities will remain intact within the mutually agreed border of Israel, and which will need to be evacuated. Israel
Israel
will undoubtedly insist that some or all of the "consensus" blocs become part of Israel".[305] Proposal of dual citizenship A number of proposals for the granting of Palestinian citizenship or residential permits to Jewish
Jewish
settlers in return for the removal of Israeli military installations from the West Bank
West Bank
have been fielded by such individuals[307] as Arafat,[308] Ibrahim Sarsur[309] and Ahmed Qurei.[310] In contrast, Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
said in July 2013 that "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli—civilian or soldier—on our lands."[311] Israeli Minister Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alon
said in April 2010 that "just as Arabs live in Israel, so, too, should Jews
Jews
be able to live in Palestine." ... "If we are talking about coexistence and peace, why the [Palestinian] insistence that the territory they receive be ethnically cleansed of Jews?".[312] The idea has been expressed by both advocates of the two-state solution[271] and supporters of the settlers and conservative or fundamentalist currents in Israeli Judaism[272] that, while objecting to any withdrawal, claim stronger links to the land than to the state of Israel. Settlement expansion On 19 June 2011, Haaretz
Haaretz
reported that the Israeli cabinet voted to revoke Defense Minister Ehud Barak's authority to veto new settlement construction in the West Bank, by transferring this authority from the Agriculture Ministry, headed by Barak ally Orit Noked, to the Prime Minister's office.[313] In 2009, newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
said: "I have no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank... But like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements."[314] On 15 October 2009, he said the settlement row with the United States had been resolved.[315] In April 2012, four illegal outposts were retroactively legalized by the Israeli government.[316] In June 2012, the Netanyahu government announced a plan to build 851 homes in five settlements: 300 units in Beit El
Beit El
and 551 units in other settlements.[317][318] Amid peace negotiations that showed little signs of progress, Israel issued on 3 November 2013, tenders for 1,700 new homes for Jewish settlers. The plots were offered in nine settlements in areas Israel says it intends to keep in any peace deal with the Palestinians.[319] On 12 November, Peace Now
Peace Now
revealed that the Construction and Housing Ministry had issued tenders for 24,000 more settler homes in the West Bank, including 4,000 in East Jerusalem.[320] 2,500 units were planned in Ma'aleh Adumim, some 9,000 in the Gush Etzion
Gush Etzion
Region, and circa 12,000 in the Binyamin Region, including 1,200 homes in the E1 area in addition to 3,000 homes in previously frozen E1 projects.[321] Circa 15,000 homes of the 24,000 plan would be east of the West Bank
West Bank
Barrier and create the first new settlement blocs for two decades, and the first blocs ever outside the Barrier, far inside the West Bank.[322] As stated before, the Israeli government (as of 2015) has a program of residential subsidies in which Israeli settlers receive about double that given to Israelis in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As well, settlers in isolated areas receive three times the Israeli national average. From the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2013, the Israeli settlement population as a whole increased by a rate of over 4% per year. A New York Times article in 2015 stated that said building had been "at the heart of mounting European criticism of Israel."[31] See also

Israel
Israel
portal

Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
timeline Jewish
Jewish
land purchase in Palestine List of Israeli settlements with city status in the West Bank Neo-Zionism Palestinian Land Law Population statistics for Israeli West Bank
West Bank
settlements State of Judea Unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel Regulation Law

Notes

i.   ^ Statistics for the West Bank
West Bank
(" Judea
Judea
and Samaria") from the Statistical Abstract of Israel
Israel
2013 No. 64.

2.16 Localities and Population, by District, Sub-District, Religion and Population Group

Total population = 341,400 in 123 " Jewish
Jewish
localities" Jews
Jews
= 334,200 in 123 " Jewish
Jewish
localities" Arabs = 0 in 0 "Non- Jewish
Jewish
localities"

^ Citations from the Drobles Plan (October 1978): [1]

"Settlement throughout the entire Land of Israel
Land of Israel
is for security and by right. A strip of settlements at strategic sites enhances both internal and external security alike, as well as making concrete and realizing our right to Eretz Israel."

"The disposition of the settlements must be carried out not only around the settlements of the minorities, but also in between them." [Note: "minorities" refers to the Arab population in Israel
Israel
and the Palestinian territories. The West Bank
West Bank
had some 98% Arabs in 1978.]

"New settlements will be established only on State-owned land, and not on private Arab-owned land which is duly registered. We should ensure that there is no need for the expropriation of private plots from the members of the minorities."

"As is known, it is the task of the land settlement department to initiate, plan and implement the settlement enterprise according to the decisions of the Government and of the joint Government-World Zionist Organization Committee for Settlement." "This will enable us to bring about the dispersion … to the presently empty areas of J&S."

^ Citations from the Matityahu Drobles follow up-plan (September 1980): [2]

THE SETTLEMENT STRATEGY IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA

"In light of the current negotiations on the future of Judea
Judea
and Samaria, it will now become necessary for us to conduct a race against time. During this period, everything will be mainly determined by the facts we establish in these territories and less by any other considerations. This is therefore the best time for launching an extensive and comprehensive settlement momentum, particularly on the Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
hilltops which are not easily passable by nature and which preside over the Jordan
Jordan
Valley on the cast and over the Coastal Plain on the west."

"It is therefore significant to stress today, mainly by means of actions, that the autonomy does not and will not apply to the territories but only to the Arab population thereof. This should mainly find expression by establishing facts on the ground. Therefore, the state-owned lands and the uncultivated barren lands in Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
ought to be seized right away, with the purpose of settling the areas between and around the centers occupied by the minorities so as to reduce to the minimum the danger of an additional Arab state being established in these territories. Being cut off by Jewish settlements the minority population will find it difficult to form a territorial and political continuity."

"There mustn't be even the shadow of a doubt about our intention to keep the territories of Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
for good. Otherwise, the minority population may get into a state of growing disquiet which will eventually result in recurrent efforts to establish an additional Arab state in these territories. The best and most effective way of removing every shadow of a doubt about our intention to hold on to Judea
Judea
and Samaria
Samaria
forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories."

SETTLEMENT POLICY IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA

"Thus, it is necessary to establish additional settlements near every existing settlement in Judea
Judea
and Samaria, so as to create settlement clusters in homogenous settlement regions ..."

"Over the next 5 years it is necessary to establish 12-15 rural and urban settlements per annum in Judea
Judea
and Samaria, so that in five years from now the number of settlements will grow by 60-75 and the Jewish
Jewish
population thereof will amount to between 120,000 and 150,000 people."

References

^ Oded Haklai, 'The Decisive Path of State Indecisiveness: Israeli Settlers in the West Bank
West Bank
in Comparative Perspective,' in Oded Haklai, Neophytos Loizide (eds.), Settlers in Contested Lands: Territorial Disputes and Ethnic Conflicts, Stanford University Press 2015 pp. 17–38 p. 19: "the Israel
Israel
settlers reside almost solely in exclusively Jewish
Jewish
communities (one exception is a small enclave within the city of Hebron)." ^ Michael Dumper, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Unbound: Geography, History, and the Future of the Holy City, Columbia University Press 2014 p. 85. "This is despite huge efforts by successive governments to fragment and encircle Palestinian residential areas with exclusively Jewish
Jewish
zones of residence – the settlements." ^ EU Trade with Israeli Settlements, a briefing paper ^ a b

Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom Gorenberg
(2007). The Accidental Empire: Israel
Israel
and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967–1977. Macmillan. p. 363. So argued the government of Israel
Israel
before the country's Supreme Court in the spring of 2005, defending its decision to dismantle all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and four in the northern West Bank. 

^ Anthony Cordesman, Jennifer Moravitz, The Israeli–Palestinian War: Escalating to Nowhere, Greenwood Publishing Group, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005 p. 432: 'Between 1993 and 1999, settlers established 42 "unofficial" settlements, only four of which were subsequently dismantled. More than a dozen new settlements were established between the 1998 Wye Accord [sic: it's the Wye River Memorandum, but Oslo Accords] and the outbreak of war, although former Prime Minister Netanyahu supposedly promised Clinton that he would halt expansion.' ^ Zeev Maoz Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security & Foreign Policy, University of Michigan Press, 2006 p. 472: 'As can be seen from the table, in 1993 there were about 110,000 settlers in the occupied territories. In 2001 there were 195,000 (Note that the number of settlers increased by 18 percent during the Al Aqsa Intifada). This was an increase of 73 percent' ^ Marwan Bishara, Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid Zed Books, 2003 p. 133: 'The settlement expansion has continued unabated...and accelerated after the launch of the peace process.' p. 133. ^ Baylis Thomas, The Dark Side of Zionism: Israel's Quest for Security Through Dominance Lexington Books, 3011 p. 137:'Six years after the agreement there were more Israeli settlements, less freedom of movement, and worse economic conditions." Settlement building and roads for Jewish
Jewish
settlers proceeded at a frenetic pace under Barak – the classic Zionist maneuver of creating of facts on the ground to preclude a Palestinian state.' p. 137. ^ Barahona, Ana (2013). Bearing Witness: Eight weeks in Palestine. London: Metete. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-908099-02-0.  ^ Uri Blau, ' Haaretz
Haaretz
Investigation: U.S. Donors Gave Settlements More Than $220 Million in Tax-exempt Funds Over Five Years,' Haaretz, 7 December 2015. ^

Roberts, Adam. "Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories Since 1967". The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 84 (1): 85–86. doi:10.2307/2203016. The international community has taken a critical view of both deportations and settlements as being contrary to international law. General Assembly resolutions have condemned the deportations since 1969, and have done so by overwhelming majorities in recent years. Likewise, they have consistently deplored the establishment of settlements, and have done so by overwhelming majorities throughout the period (since the end of 1976) of the rapid expansion in their numbers. The Security Council has also been critical of deportations and settlements; and other bodies have viewed them as an obstacle to peace, and illegal under international law.  Pertile, Marco (2005). "'Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory': A Missed Opportunity for International Humanitarian Law?". In Conforti, Benedetto; Bravo, Luigi. The Italian Yearbook of International Law. 14. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 141. ISBN 978-90-04-15027-0. the establishment of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been considered illegal by the international community and by the majority of legal scholars.  Barak-Erez, Daphne (2006). "Israel: The security barrier—between international law, constitutional law, and domestic judicial review". International Journal of Constitutional Law. Oxford University Press. 4 (3): 548. doi:10.1093/icon/mol021. The real controversy hovering over all the litigation on the security barrier concerns the fate of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Since 1967, Israel
Israel
has allowed and even encouraged its citizens to live in the new settlements established in the territories, motivated by religious and national sentiments attached to the history of the Jewish
Jewish
nation in the land of Israel. This policy has also been justified in terms of security interests, taking into consideration the dangerous geographic circumstances of Israel
Israel
before 1967 (where Israeli areas on the Mediterranean coast were potentially threatened by Jordanian control of the West Bank
West Bank
ridge). The international community, for its part, has viewed this policy as patently illegal, based on the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention
Fourth Geneva Convention
that prohibit moving populations to or from territories under occupation.  Drew, Catriona (1997). "Self-determination and population transfer". In Bowen, Stephen. Human rights, self-determination and political change in the occupied Palestinian Hkterritories. International studies in human rights. 52. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 151–152. ISBN 978-90-411-0502-8. It can thus clearly be concluded that the transfer of Israeli settlers into the occupied territories violates not only the laws of belligerent occupation but the Palestinian right of self-determination under international law. The question remains, however, whether this is of any practical value. In other words, given the view of the international community that the Israeli settlements are illegal under the law if belligerent occupation...  International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
(2005). "The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories" (PDF). p. 14. The international community considers Israeli settlements within the occupied territories illegal and in breach of, inter alia, United Nations Security Council resolution 465 of 1 March 1980 calling on Israel
Israel
"to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem".  Civilian and military presence as strategies of territorial control: The Arab- Israel
Israel
conflict, David Newman, Political Geography Quarterly Volume 8, Issue 3, July 1989, Pages 215–227

^ "UN Security Council Resolution 465". Archived from the original on 19 September 2015.  ^

"What next for Gaza and West Bank?". BBC. 30 August 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2010. Most Israelis support the pullout, but some feel the government has given in to Palestinian militant groups, and worry that further withdrawals will follow. Palestinian critics point out that Gaza will remain under Israeli control, and that they are being denied a political say in the disengagement process.  Yearbook of the United Nations
United Nations
2005. United Nations
United Nations
Publications. 2007. p. 514. The Israeli Government was preparing to implement an unprecedented initiative: the disengagement of all Israeli civilians and forces from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and the dismantling of four settlements in the northern West Bank.  Yael Yishai (1987). Land Or Peace. Hoover Press. p. 58. During 1982 Israel's government stuck to its territorial policy in word and deed. All the settlements in Sinai
Sinai
were evacuated in accordance with the Camp David Accords, but settlement activity in the other territories continued uninterrupted. A few days after the final withdrawal from Sinai
Sinai
had been completed, Begin announced that he would introduce a resolution barring future governments from dismantling settlements, even as a result of peace negotiations. 

^ Donald MacIntyre, The Big Question: What are Israeli settlements, and why are they coming under pressure?, The Independent
The Independent
29 May 2009 ^ "Summary of the Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004" (PDF). International Court of Justice. 9 July 2004. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2011.  ^ fco.gov.uk Archived 30 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Regarding international organizations and courts of law, see "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. ; regarding the UN, see UN General Assembly resolution 39/146, 14 December 1984; UN Security Council Resolution 446, 22 March 1979; and International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion, 9 July 2004, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, para 120; Regarding the European Union
European Union
position, see The Syrian Golan ^ Natasha Mozgovaya, Reuters
Reuters
and The Associated Press, Palestinians call on UN to stop Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
legalization, at Haaretz, 26 April 2012. ^ Michal Shmulovich (24 April 2012). "World leaders blast legalization of three West Bank
West Bank
outposts". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 April 2012.  ^ Michal Shmulovich (26 April 2012). "EU urges Israel
Israel
to reverse its authorization of three West Bank
West Bank
outposts". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 April 2012.  ^ "Israel, the Conflict and Peace: Answers to frequently asked questions". Israel
Israel
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. November 2007. Are Israeli settlements legal?  ^ 'Ramifications of UNSC resolution: Sanctions, boycotts and ICC lawsuits,' Ynet 24 December 2016. ^ " Palestinians
Palestinians
condemn settlements plan". The Financial Times. 20 May 2011.  ^ " OIC
OIC
Secretary General hails EU decision on Israeli settlements". United Nations
United Nations
Information System on the Question of Palestine - OIC Statement to UN. Accessed March 14, 2015. ^ a b " Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
plan denounced". BBC. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2010.  ^ "Russia urges Israel
Israel
to halt settlement construction". RIA Novosti. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2012.  ^ "Britain: Israeli settlements are 'illegal' and 'obstacle' to peace". Haaretz. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2010.  ^ "France condemns Israel
Israel
over settlement building decision". Business Standard. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.  ^ "EU's Ashton SAYS Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
plans hurt peace moves". Reuters. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010.  ^ 'The economics at the heart of Israel's illegal settlements,' Ma'an News Agency 7 January 2015. ^ a b Jodi Rudoren, Jeremy Ashkenas,'Netanyahu and the Settlements,' New York Times, 12 March 2015: 'the government spent about $950 supporting each West Bank
West Bank
resident in 2014, more than double its investment in people living in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem; in isolated settlements, it was $1,483 per capita.' ^ Williams, Dan Leave or let live? Arabs move in to Jewish
Jewish
settlements Reuters. 7 Dec 2014 ^ " Israel
Israel
okays 2,610 homes for Jews
Jews
and Arabs in E. Jerusalem".  ^ Sherwood, Harriet (26 July 2012). "Population of Jewish
Jewish
settlements in West Bank
West Bank
up 15,000 in a year". The Guardian. London.  ^ "Facts About Jewish
Jewish
Settlements in the West Bank".  ^ " Jewish
Jewish
Population in Judea
Judea
& Samaria
Samaria
Growing Significantly".  ^ "Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories". Foundation for Middle East Peace. Retrieved 2012-08-05.  ^ a b c Separate and Unequal, Chapter IV. Human Rights Watch, 19 December 2010 ^ Akiva Eldar, "A matter of a few dozen meters". Haaretz, 1 June 2008 ^ a b Knesset Website, Gush Emunim. Retrieved 27-02-2013 ^ Donald Macintyre, "Secret memo shows Israel
Israel
knew Six Day War was illegal". Independent, 26 May 2007. (on web.archive) ^ Secret 1970 document confirms first West Bank
West Bank
settlements built on a lie (Haaretz, July 28, 2016) "In minutes of meeting in then defense minister Moshe Dayan's office, top Israeli officials discussed how to violate international law in building settlement of Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron
Hebron
(...) The system of confiscating land by military order for the purpose of establishing settlements was an open secret in Israel throughout the 1970s ^ Yotam Berger (7 September 2016). " Israel
Israel
Used Military Censor to Conceal First Settlements From Public, Document Reveals". Haaretz. 'The seizure for military needs can easily be defended from a legal point of view,' Ben Horin writes. 'Civilian enterprises are another thing entirely.'  ^ Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, Part II Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine., chapter III. "The magnitude of settlements". 1 July 1984. Part I Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ Ian S. Lustick, For the land and the Lord: Jewish
Jewish
fundamentalism in Israel, chapter 3, par. " Gush Emunim
Gush Emunim
and the Likud". 1988, the Council on Foreign Relations ^ Israel
Israel
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23. "Government statement on recognition of three settlements. 26 July 1977 ^ Robin Bidwell, Dictionary Of Modern Arab History, Routledge, 2012 p. 442 ^ Division for Palestinian Rights/CEIRPP, SUPR Bulletin No. 9-10 (letters of 19 September 1979 and 18 October 1979). Original UNGA/UNSC publication of the "Drobles Plan" in pdf: Letter dated 18 October 1979 from the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed to the Secretary-General, see ANNEX (doc.nrs. A/34/605 and S/13582 d.d. 22-10-1979). ^ UNGA/UNSC, Letter dated 19 June 198l from the Acting Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to the Secretary-General (A/36/341 and S/14566 d.d.19-06-1981). ^ a b "Cabinet seeks to limit Barak's say on settlements". Tovah Lazaroff and Herb Keinon, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
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Center for Public Affairs, 16 January 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2005. ^ Diplomatic and Legal Aspects of the Settlement Issue, Jeffrey Helmreich, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, jcpa.org. Retrieved 11 July 2007. ^ Kessler, Glenn (5 January 2006). "Bush at Risk of Losing Closest Mideast Ally". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 May 2010.  ^ " Israel
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'to keep some settlements'". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2010.  ^ Dore Gold. "What Happened to Secure Borders for Israel? The U.S., Israel, and the Strategic Jordan
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Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 28 July 2016.  ^ Dromi, Shai M. (2014). "Uneasy Settlements: Reparation Politics and the Meanings of Money in the Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza". Sociological Inquiry. 48 (1). doi:10.1111/soin.12028.  ^ "US will accept Israel
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settlements". BBC News. 25 March 2005.  ^ Looters strip Gaza greenhouses, MSNBC.COM, Associated Press, 13 September 2005. ^ Freeman, Simon (12 September 2005). "Synagogues burn in Gaza". The Times. Retrieved 7 September 2010.  ^ Human Rights in Israel
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Palestinians
to seek statehood at UN." Haaretz, 17 September 2011. ^ "Germany Threatens To Halt Submarine Sale to Israel." Der Spiegel, 31 October 2011. ^ "Ahead of the UNGA vote // 'Germany abstaining at UN because Israel wouldn't budge on settlements'". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 July 2016.  ^ " Israel
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says will stick with settlement plan despite condemnation". Reuters. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2016.  ^ Pike, John. "UN Chief Warns Israeli Settlements Would Be 'Fatal Blow'". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 28 July 2016.  ^ Rostow, Eugene. Bricks and stones: settling for leverage; Palestinian autonomy Archived 4 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine., The New Republic, 23 April 1990. ^ 'US will accept Israel
Israel
settlements', BBC News
BBC News
Online, 25 March 2005. ^ 'UN Condemns Israeli settlements', BBC News
BBC News
Online, 14 April 2005. ^ 'Obama Speech In Cairo: VIDEO, Full Text', The Huffington Post, 4 June 2009. ^ a b Mélanie Jacques, Armed Conflict and Displacement: The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons Under International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press 2012 pp. 96–97. ^ Review of Dennis Ross book, by Ray Hanania, hanania.com, 16 August 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2007. ^ Remarks by Pres. Clinton, 7 January 2001. (Full transcript available at: cnn transcript) ^ Tony Blair
Tony Blair
press conference, 17 April 2004, incl. comments on compromising on settlements, UK Foreign office. Retrieved 12 July 2007. ^ Pike, John. "PNA to ask UN to reestablish 1967 border with Israel
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Haaretz, 20 September 2010 ^ Ravid, Barak. "U.S.: We'll oppose delegitimization of Israel
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Post, 14 November 2013

Further reading

Israeli Settlements interactive map and Israeli land use from The Guardian Israeli Settlements. Bloomberg News Israeli settlements: Where, when, and why they're built, Ilene R. Prusher, Christian Science Monitor, 15 September 2009 Text of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention from icrc.org The legal status of Israeli settlements under IHL (International Humanitarian Law), Reuters
Reuters
ReliefWeb, 31 January 2004 The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians
Palestinians
of Israeli Settlements and Other Infrastructure in the West Bank
West Bank
from UN OCHA, Palestinian territories Israeli Communities in Yesha & Jordan
Jordan
Valley The Illegal Settlements—slideshow by The First Post Bearing Witness, Metete Publications

Viewpoints and commentary

Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territory, The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem Land Expropriation and Settlements from B'tselem Israel
Israel
and The Palestinian Territories, The Carter Center Israeli Confiscation and Settlement on Palestinian Land from If Americans Knew Myths about the settlements and A compilation of facts on the settlements, Jewish
Jewish
Virtual Library Settlements and Settlements and U.S. Policy, Americans for Peace Now Bregman, Ahron, Elusive Peace: How the Holy Land Defeated America 'The Wye River Memorandum and Israeli Settlements", Geoffrey Aronson, The Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Fund, 4 August 1999 For Israel, Land or Peace Jimmy Carter, The Carter Center, 26 November 2000 Backgrounder: Jewish
Jewish
settlements and the Media from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, 5 October 2001 From "occupied territories" to "disputed territories", Dore Gold, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Center for Public Affairs, 16 January 2002 Ottoman Land Registration Law as a Contributing Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict by Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen, 2003 Diplomatic and Legal Aspects of the Settlement Issue from the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Center for Public Affairs, 19 January 2003 Jewish
Jewish
Settlements in "the Territories" Aren't the Problem, Chaim Herzog, FrontPageMag.com, 9 April 2003 Occupation and Settlement: The Myth and Reality, David Meir-Levi, Think-Israel.org, 24 June 2005 "At Israeli Outpost, Showdown Looms for Settlers, Government Gershom Gorenberg, Jewish
Jewish
Daily Forward, 27 January 2006 Settlements 'violate Israeli law', BBC News, 21 November 2006 Backgrounder: The debate about settlements from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, 13 June 2007 "Israel's Settlers Are Here to Stay" op-ed by Dani Dayan
Dani Dayan
in The New York Times 25 July 2012

External links Media related to Israeli settlements in occupied territories at Wikimedia Commons

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