Israeli Settlements Explained

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A look at the history of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered illegal under international law. Several United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as the International Court of Justice, have also found settlements to be illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

As stated in a Fair Observer 360° series on settlements, “Israel has disputed the assertion that the West Bank and East Jerusalem can actually be considered occupied territories because they were not part of a legitimate sovereign state before 1967. Thus, it argues that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to these disputed territories, which renders the settlements legal.”

Today, around 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and are seen by the Palestinians as a key impediment to the peace process.

With about 60% of Palestinian territory still under control of Israel, Arabs are severely restricted in accessing the resources of their land and the freedom of movement within it.

In December 2016, the United Nations Security Council condemned Israeli settlements as illegal to reaffirm its position, while the US abstained from the vote in a move that angered Israel. But with nearly 10% of Israelis living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, these are now two nations inextricably linked through common history and conflict.

Watch this video by Vox on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: jcarillet

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