Monday, January 30, 2017


Much of this material has been taken from: “Land Grab” Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, May 2002, a publication of B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories; Tikkun Magazine; Americans for Peace Now; the Foundation for Middle East Peace; and Christian Peacemaker Teams CPT;; Healing Israel/Palestine by Michael Lerner.  There has been no independent attempt to verify the facts presented – for any formal legal action, a significant amount of additional research would be required. 

Summary  - Since 1967, each Israeli government has invested significant resources in establishing and expanding the settlements in the Occupied Territories, both in terms of the area of land they occupy and in terms of population. As a result of this policy, approximately 198,000 Jewish Israeli citizens now live on 123 settlements on the West Bank (this does not include 180,000 living in East Jerusalem).

1967 - During the first decade following the occupation, the Ma'arach governments operated on the basis of the Alon Plan, which advocated the establishment of settlements in areas perceived as having "security importance,” and where the Palestinian population was sparse (the Jordan Valley, parts of the Hebron Mountains and Greater Jerusalem).

1967 – Kfar Etzion founded by Jewish Israeli citizens

1968 -  April 13, 1968,  Rabbi Moshe Levinger led a group of eighty-eight Israeli Jewish people into Hebron and celebrated Passover at the Park Hotel. “We sensed that we had made an historical breakthrough", recalls his wife, Miriam Levinger, “and we all felt deeply moved and excited. We received Eretz Yisrael on a silver platter in 1967.It was an honor and a privilege to be among the first people to make the dream of return a reality."

1968  – A new religious group, Gush Emunim (block of the faithful) argued that it was forbidden for Jews to return land to the Arabs, and that the outcome of the war was a product of divine intervention.  These “modern-Orthodox created settlements in the West bank and pushed the agenda of Israeli expansionism.  Over the next 25 years, the Gush Emunim movement encouraged some 120,000 Israelis to settle in the West Bank and Gaza, sometimes buying land, but often occupying and expropriating land from Palestinians.

1968 – 1972 – Jewish Israeli citizens founded 11 settlements – Mehola Kalya, Argamar, Rosh Zurim, Gilgal, Ma’ale Efrayim, Massu’a, Mevo Horan, Hamra, Mizpe Shalem, Har Gilo and Kiryat Arba

1977 - After the Likud came to power in 1977, the government began to establish settlements throughout the West Bank, particularly in areas close to the main Palestinian population centers along the central mountain ridge and in western Samaria. This policy was based on both security and ideological considerations.

1977 – July – Menachem Begin refuses President Jimmy Carter’s request to freeze settlement activity.

1977 – September - Ariel Sharon, minister of agriculture unveils “A vision of Israel at Century’s End” calling for the settlement of 2 million Jews in the occupied territories.

1978 - April 21, 1978 opinion of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State in the administration of President Carter the Congress on the legal status of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. “While Israel may undertake, in the occupied territories, actions necessary to meet its military needs and to provide for orderly government during the occupation, for the reasons indicated above the establishment of the civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent with international law.”

1980 – There are now 53 settlements where approximately 12,500 Jewish Israeli citizens live.

1988 – There are now 110 settlements where approximately 63,600 Jewish Israeli citizens live.

1992– There are now 120 settlements where approximately 100,500 Jewish Israeli citizens live.

1992 - The political process between Israel and the Palestinians did not impede settlement activities, which continued under the Labor government of Yitzhak Rabin (1992-1996) and all subsequent governments. These governments built thousands of new housing units, claiming that this was necessary to meet the "natural growth” of the existing population.

1993 and 1995 – The Oslo Agreements do not expressly prohibit expansion of settlements but they preserved the “integrity and status of the West Bank during the interim period.

2003 – There are now only 3 more settlements than in 1992 BUT since 1992 approximately 42 “unofficial” settlements have been established . There are now approximately 198,000 Jewish Israeli citizens living in West Bank settlements, a population increase since 1992 of nearly 100%. 

2003 – Settlements in the West Bank whose residents are Jewish Israeli citizens and areas controlled by the Israel military forces now control 60% of the West Bank

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