Israeli settlement – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted By on July 17, 2015

Israeli settlements[1] are Israeli civilian communities[i] built on lands occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights. Settlements previously existed in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip until Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 under Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. Israel dismantled 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, and all 21 in the Gaza Strip and 4 in the West Bank in 2005,[2] but continues to both expand its settlements and settle new areas in the West Bank,[3][4][5][6][7] despite pressure to desist from the international community.

The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal,[8] and the United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[9][10] Israeli neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and communities in the Golan Heights, the latter of which has been annexed by Israel, are also considered settlements by the international community, which does not recognise Israel's annexations of these territories.[11] The International Court of Justice also says these settlements are illegal in a 2004 advisory opinion.[12][13][14] In April 2012, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, in response to moves by 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."[15] Similar criticism was advanced by the EU and the US.[16][17] Israel disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that were used to declare the settlements illegal.[18]

The presence and ongoing expansion of existing settlements by Israel and the construction of settlement outposts is frequently criticized as an obstacle to the peace process by the Palestinians,[19] and third parties such as the OIC,[20] the United Nations,[21]Russia,[22] the United Kingdom,[23]France,[24] the European Union,[25] and the United States have echoed those criticisms.[21]

Settlement has an economic dimension, much of it driven by the significantly lower costs of housing in Jewish settlements compared to the cost of housing and living in Israel.[26] Government subsidies to settlers are double those to Israelis in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, while settlers in isolated areas receive three times the Israeli national average.[27] On 30 June 2014, according to the Yesha Council, 382,031 Jewish settlers lived in the 121 officially recognised settlements in the West Bank, over 300,000 Israelis lived in settlements in East Jerusalem and over 20,000 lived in settlements in the Golan Heights.[28][29][30] In January 2015 the Israeli Interior Ministry gave figures of 389,250 Israelis living in the West Bank and a further 375,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem.[31] 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 and Ariel, have achieved city status. Ariel has 18,000 residents, while the rest have around 37,000 to 55,500 each.

The 1967 Six-Day War left Israel in control of [32]

As early as 1967, Israeli settlement policy was started by the Labor government of Levi Eshkol. The basis for Israeli settlement in the West Bank became the Allon Plan,[33] 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 Valley.[34] Yigal Allon became Levi Eshkol's successor as Prime Minister in 1969. The settlement policy of the next government, led by Yitzhak Rabin, was also derived from the Allon Plan.[35]

The first settlement was Kfar Etzion, in the southern West Bank,[33][36] 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.

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 and the Jewish Agency/World Zionist Organization, and intensified the settlement activities.[35][37][38] In a government statement, Likud declared that the entire historic Land of Israel is the inalienable heritage of the Jewish people, and that no part of the West Bank should be handed over to foreign rule.[39] 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.[40][A] The "Drobles Plan" from the World Zionist Organization, dated October 1978 and named "Master Plan for the Development of Settlements in Judea and Samaria, 1979-1983", was written by the 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 and Samaria", with more details about settlement strategy and policy.[41][B]

Since 1967, government-funded settlement projects in the West Bank are implemented by the "Settlement Division" of the World Zionist Organization.[42] 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 on lands licensed to it by the Civil Administration.[33] Traditionally, the Settlement Division has been under the responsibility of the Agriculture Ministry. Since the Olso Accords, it was always housed within the Prime Ministers 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 Baraks authority.[42]

At the presentation of the Oslo II Accord on 5 October 1995 in the Knesset, PM Yitzhak Rabin expounded the Israeli settlement policy in connection with the permanent solution to the conflict. 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 and the West Bank". It wanted to keep settlements beyond the Green Line including 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.[43]

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Israeli settlement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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