Archive for the ‘West Bank’ Category

Airbnb Bans Listings in Israeli Settlements on West Bank …

Settler leaders called Airbnbs decision anti-Semitic.

In a measure of the depth of the dispute over the territory, one Palestinian leader said Airbnb had not gone far enough.

Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that while the decision was an initial, positive step, Airbnb had failed to state clearly that Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute war crimes.

Human Rights Watch, the advocacy organization, said it had been speaking with Airbnb about its West Bank listings for two years, and it urged other companies to follow its example. The group said it would issue a report titled Bed-and-Breakfast on Stolen Land: Tourist Rental Listings in West Bank Settlements on Tuesday.

One settlement resident, Eliana Passentin, 45, said she had listed her home in Eli, overlooking ancient Shiloh, on Airbnb in the past and had been thinking of doing so again for the Hanukkah holiday in December.

Ms. Passentin, who has been living with her family in Eli for 23 years, said people from as far away as Nigeria had contacted her, wanting to pray in her garden overlooking ancient Shiloh.

Ms. Passentin listed the location of her accommodation as Eli, Israel because, she said, it was just like anywhere else in Israel.

Theyve been misled, she said of Airbnb. I hope a lot of pressure will be put on the C.E.O. of Airbnb and theyll realize they made a huge mistake.

Ms. Passentin said: Its really about bringing people together, not politics. Thats what governments are for. We dont need Airbnb for that.

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November 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

West Bank – definition of West Bank by The Free Dictionary

In the afternoon of the second day we landed upon the west bank of the river, and, leaving Snider and Thirty-six to guard Victory and the launch, Delcarte, Taylor, and I set out after game.Scarcely had the horde of Torn passed out of sight down the east edge of the valley ere a party of richly dressed knights, coming from the south by another road along the west bank of the river, crossed over and drew rein before the cottage of Father Claude.Later she had been warned from this road by word that a strong British patrol had come down the west bank of the Pangani, effected a crossing south of her, and was even then marching on the railway at Tonda.The PCBS said the number of individuals participating in the labor force in Palestine was 1,374,600 in 2017 of which 870,000 where in the West Bank and 504,600 in Gaza Strip.This road and the separation of the four villages’ will cause separating the central part of the West Bank from its southern areas.Goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘West Bank,’ ‘Gaza,’ ‘Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank and Gaza,’ or ‘West Bank and Gaza Strip.The cartoon, published in Al Risalah (The Message), has raised tensions between Fatah and Hamas to a new level and has the potential to unite the entire West Bank against the entire Gaza Strip.City of Jackson West Bank Interceptor Condition Assessment City Project Number 3B0500903 The scope of services shall include evaluation of the internal condition of the West Bank Interceptor pipe using CCTV, sonar, and/or laser, and inspection and evaluation of all West Bank Interceptor manholes.Donors do need to act urgently in the face of a serious fiscal crisis facing the PA (Palestinian Authority) in the short term,” Mariam Sherman, the World Bank’s country director for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said in a statement.NABLUS: Occupied West Bank: Around 150 olive trees in the occupied West Bank were cut down overnight in an attack blamed by Palestinians on Jewish settlers.Israel is concerned that Islamist Palestinian group Hamas might manage to renew its military capacities in the West Bank and is thus preparing for such a possibility, the Jordanian daily AD DUSTOUR reported Tuesday.In a statement, the army played down any notion of mass deportation, saying the orders simply amended existing Israeli regulations to assure military “judicial oversight” in the extradition of anyone “residing illegally” in the West Bank.

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November 17, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

3 soldiers lightly injured in suspected West Bank car …

Three IDF soldiers on foot patrol in the West Bank were lightly injured when a car with Palestinian license plates attempted to run them over in a suspected car-ramming attack on Saturday night before fleeing, the Israeli military said in a statement.

The incident occurred outside the Palestinian village of Husan, at the Al Khader Junction near the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit in the Etzion bloc.

The IDF said it had launched a search for the alleged perpetrator.

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The injured soldiers received initial medical attention at the scene and were being transferred to hospital for further treatment, the military said.

“: 2 . ” 2 ” 1.

Posted by Rescuers Without Borders on Saturday, 23 June 2018

Earlier this month, Israeli troops thwarted an attempted car-ramming attack in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The driver of the vehicle tried to run over soldiers stationed on a road leading to the Tomb of the Patriarchs but was shot dead by troops, according to the IDF.

The army said the Palestinian assailant first attempted to run over an officer and another soldier with a small tractor.

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September 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

West Bank village prepares for homecoming of Ahed Tamimi

NABI SALEH, West Bank (AP) On the eve of Ahed Tamimi’s release from prison, the father of the Palestinian protest icon said Saturday that he expects her to take a lead in the struggle against Israeli occupation but that the 17-year-old is also weighing college options.

In Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh, supporters prepared for Sunday’s homecoming, planting Palestinian flags on the roof of her family home and setting up hundreds of chairs for well-wishers in the courtyard.

Ahed and her mother Nariman were arrested in December, after Ahed slapped two Israeli soldiers outside the family home and Nariman filmed the incident and posted it on Facebook. Both are to be released Sunday.

To Palestinians and their international supporters, Ahed has become a symbol of resistance to Israel’s half-century-old military rule over the Palestinians. She is easily recognizable with her unruly mop of curly hair.

In Israel, she is seen by many as either as a provocateur, an irritation or a threat to the military’s deterrence.

Ahed’s father Bassem said Saturday that after her release from prison, “we expect her to lead and we will support her to lead” in the fight to end occupation. He did not say what this would entail.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians are increasingly disillusioned about efforts to establish a state in those territories, after more than two decades of failed negotiations with Israel.

Bassem Tamimi said that his daughter completed her high school exams in prison, with the help of other prisoners who taught the required material. He said she initially hoped to attend a West Bank university but has also received scholarship offers abroad.

Ahed was 16 when she was arrested and turned 17 in custody. Her case has trained a spotlight on the detention of Palestinian minors by Israel, a practice that has been criticized by international rights groups. Some 300 minors are currently being held, according to Palestinian figures.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops on Saturday detained two Italian artists who had painted a large mural of Ahed Tamimi on Israel’s West Bank separation barrier, according to local activist Munther Amireh and amateur video posted online.

The video shows armed soldiers ordering the two men, along with a Palestinian activist, to get out of a car next to the separation barrier. They are led away through an opening in the barrier. Israel’s military had no immediate comment.

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July 28, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

Jordanian annexation of the West Bank – Wikipedia

The Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was the occupation and consequent annexation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by Jordan (formerly Transjordan) in the aftermath of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War.[1][2] During the war, Jordan’s Arab Legion conquered the Old City of Jerusalem and took control of territory on the western side of the Jordan River, including the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus.[3] At the end of hostilities, Jordan was in complete control of the West Bank.

Following the December 1948 Jericho Conference, and the 1949 renaming of the country from Transjordan to Jordan, the West Bank was formally annexed on 24 April 1950.

The annexation was widely considered as illegal and void by the international community.[4] A month afterwards, the Arab League declared that they viewed the area “annexed by Jordan as a trust in its hands until the Palestine case is fully solved in the interests of its inhabitants.”[5] Recognition of Jordan’s declaration of annexation was only granted by the United Kingdom, Iraq and Pakistan.[6][7]

When Jordan transferred its full citizenship rights to the residents of the West Bank, the annexation more than doubled the population of Jordan.[3] The naturalized Palestinians enjoyed equal opportunities in all sectors of the state without discrimination, and they were given half of the seats of the Jordanian parliament.[8]

After Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Palestinians there remained Jordanian citizens until Jordan decided to renounce claims and sever administrative ties with the territory in 1988.

Prior to hostilities in 1948, Palestine (modern-day West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel) had been under the British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument) control of the British Empire, which captured it from the Ottomans in 1917. The British, as custodians of the land, implemented the land tenure laws in Palestine, which it had inherited from the Ottoman (as defined in the Ottoman Land Code of 1858), applying these laws to both Arab and Jewish tenants, legal or otherwise.[9] Toward the expiration of the British Mandate, Arabs aspired for independence and self-determination, as did the Jews of the country.[10]

Following Israel’s declaration of independence on 14 May 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion, under the leadership of Sir John Bagot Glubb, known as Glubb Pasha, was ordered to enter Palestine and secure the UN designated Arab area.[11] After the invasion, Jordan began making moves to perpetuate the Jordanian rule over the Arab part of Palestine. King Abdullah appointed governors on his behalf in the Arab cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramla and the Arab controlled part of Jerusalem, that were captured by Legion in the invasion. These governors were mostly Palestinians (including Aref al-Aref, Ibrahim Hashem and Ahmed Hilmi Pasha), and the Jordanians described them as “military” governors, so it wouldn’t anger the other Arab states, who opposed Jordan’s plans to incorporate the Arab part of Palestine into the kingdom. The king made other smaller moves towards the annexation of the West Bank: He ordered Palestinian policemen to wear the uniforms of the Jordanian police and its symbols; he instituted the use of Jordanian postage stamps instead of the British ones; Palestinian municipalities were not allowed to collect taxes and issue licenses; the radio of Ramallah called the locals to disobey the instructions of pro-Husseini officials and obey those of the Jordanian-backed governors.[12]

The December 1948 Jericho Conference, a meeting of prominent Palestinian leaders and King Abdullah I, voted in favor of annexation into what was then Transjordan.[13]

By the end of the war, Jordanian forces had control over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. On 3 April 1949, Israel and Jordan signed an armistice agreement. The main points included:

The remainder of the area designated as part of an Arab state under the UN Partition Plan was partly occupied by Egypt (Gaza Strip), partly occupied and annexed by Israel (West Negev, West Galilee, Jaffa). The intended international enclave of Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. The Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of East Jerusalem.[14] All but one of the 35 synagogues in the Old City were destroyed over the course of the next 19 years, either razed or used as stables and chicken coops. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were replaced by modern structures.[15][16] The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones were used for construction, paving roads and lining latrines; the highway to the Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the site.[17]

Armistice Demarcation Lines, 19491967

In March 1948, the British Cabinet had agreed that the civil and military authorities in Palestine should make no effort to oppose the setting up of a Jewish State or a move into Palestine from Transjordan.[18]

The United States, together with the United Kingdom favoured the annexation by Transjordan. The UK preferred to permit King Abdullah to annex the territory at the earliest date, while the United States preferred to wait until after the conclusion of the Palestine Conciliation Commission brokered negotiations.[19]

Jordan formally annexed the West Bank on 24 April 1950, giving all residents automatic Jordanian citizenship. West Bank residents had already received the right to claim Jordanian citizenship in December 1949.

Jordan’s annexation was widely regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League and others. Elihu Lauterpacht described it as a move that “entirely lacked legal justification.”[20] The annexation formed part of Jordan’s “Greater Syria Plan” expansionist policy,[21] and in response, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria joined Egypt in demanding Jordan’s expulsion from the Arab League.[22][23] A motion to expel Jordan from the League was prevented by the dissenting votes of Yemen and Iraq.[24] On 12 June 1950, the Arab League declared the annexation was a temporary, practical measure and that Jordan was holding the territory as a “trustee” pending a future settlement.[25][26] On 27 July 1953, King Hussein of Jordan announced that East Jerusalem was “the alternative capital of the Hashemite Kingdom” and would form an “integral and inseparable part” of Jordan.[27] In an address to parliament in Jerusalem in 1960, Hussein called the city the “second capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”.[28]

Only the United Kingdom formally recognized the annexation of the West Bank, de facto in the case of East Jerusalem.[29] The United States Department of State also recognized this extension of Jordanian sovereignty.[30][31] Pakistan is often claimed to have recognized Jordan’s annexation too, but this is dubious.[32][33]

In 1950, the British extended formal recognition to the union between the Hashemite Kingdom and that part of Palestine under Jordanian occupation and control – with the exception of Jerusalem. The British government stated that it regarded the provisions of the Anglo-Jordan Treaty of Alliance of 1948 as applicable to all the territory included in the union.[34] Despite Arab League opposition, the inhabitants of the West Bank became citizens of Jordan.

Tensions continued between Jordan and Israel through the early 1950s, with Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli commandos crossing the Green Line. Abdullah I of Jordan, who had become Emir of Transjordan in 1921 and King in 1923, was assassinated in 1951 during a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem by a Palestinian gunman following rumours that he was discussing a peace treaty with Israel. The trial found that this assassination had been planned by Colonel Abdullah el-Tell, ex-military governor of Jerusalem, and Musa Abdullah Husseini. He was succeeded by his grandson King Hussein of Jordan once he came of age in 1953, after his father Talal’s brief reign.

Unlike any other Arab country to which they fled after the 1948 ArabIsraeli War, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank (and on the East Bank) were given Jordanian citizenship on the same basis as existing residents.[35] However, many of the refugees continued to live in camps and relied on UNRWA assistance for sustenance. Palestinian refugees constituted more than a third of the kingdom’s population of 1.5 million.

In the Jordanian parliament, the West and East Banks received 30 seats each, having roughly equal populations. The first elections were held on 11 April 1950. Although the West Bank had not yet been annexed, its residents were permitted to vote. The last Jordanian elections in which West Bank residents would vote were those of April 1967, but their parliamentary representatives would continue in office until 1988, when West Bank seats were finally abolished. Palestinians enjoyed equal opportunities in all sectors of the state without discrimination.[8]

Agriculture remained the primary activity of the territory. The West Bank, despite its smaller area, contained half of Jordan’s agricultural land. In 1966, 43% of the labor force of 55,000 worked in agriculture, and 2,300km were under cultivation. (Numbers that have fallen considerably since.) In 1965, 15,000 workers were employed in industry, producing 7% of the GNP. This number fell after the 1967 war, and would not be surpassed until 1983.[36] The tourism industry also played an important role. 26 branches of 8 Arab banks were present. The Jordanian dinar became legal tender, and remains so there today.[citation needed]

There was a significant flow of population from the West Bank to East Bank, in particular to the capital, Amman.

Clauses in the 3 April 1949 Armistice Agreements specified that Israelis would have access to the religious sites in East Jerusalem. However, Jordan refused to implement this clause arguing that Israel’s refusal to permit the return of Palestinians to their homes in West Jerusalem voided that clause in the agreement.[37] Tourists entering East Jerusalem had to present baptismal certificates or other proof they were not Jewish.[38][39][40]

The special committee that was to make arrangements for visits to holy places was never formed and Israelis, irrespective of religion, were barred from entering the Old City and other holy sites.[41] The Jewish Quarter and its ancient synagogues were systematically destroyed such as the Hurva Synagogue[42][43] and gravestones from the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives were used to build latrines for Jordanian army barracks.[44][45]

By the end of the Six-Day War, the formerly Jordanian-controlled West Bank with its one million Palestinian population had come under Israeli military occupation. About 300,000 Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan. After 1967, all religious groups were granted administration over their own holy sites, while administration of the Temple Mount sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims remained in the hands of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.

On 31 July 1988, Jordan renounced its claims to the West Bank (with the exception of guardianship over the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem), and recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”[46][47]

The 1993 Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel “opened the road for Jordan to proceed on its own negotiating track with Israel.”[48] The Washington Declaration[49] was initialled one day after the Oslo Accords were signed. “On July 25, 1994, King Hussein met with Israeli Prime Minister Rabin in the Rose Garden of the White House, where they signed the Washington Declaration, formally ending the 46-year state of war between Jordan and Israel.”[48] Finally, on 26 October 1994, Jordan signed the IsraelJordan peace treaty, which normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes between them.

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Israeli settlement – Wikipedia

Israeli settlements are civilian communities[i] inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish ethnicity,[1][2] built predominantly on lands within the Palestinian territories, which Israel has militarily occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War,[3] and partly on lands considered Syrian territory also militarily occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. Such settlements within Palestinian territories currently exist in Area C of the 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 Peninsula, and within the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip; however, Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 EgyptIsrael 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, while in 2005[4] all 21 settlements in the 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 20092013, 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 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 (Palestinian territory adjacent to West Jerusalem within 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 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 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 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 Security Council Resolution 2334 confirmed the illegality of the settlement enterprise and renders Israeli citizens involved with settling the 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 IsraeliPalestinian 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 living in Israeli settlements compared to the cost of housing and living in 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 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 citizens of Israel. A number of Palestinian non-Israeli citizens (as opposed to Arab citizens of Israel) also reside in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem,[32] however, over 300,000 Israeli citizens (both Jewish citizens of Israel and Arab citizens of Israel) lived in settlements in East Jerusalem, and over 20,000 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 living in the West Bank and a further 375,000 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 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 [37]

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,[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 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 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 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 and the 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 is the inalienable heritage of the Jewish people, and that no part of the 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 in the 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 and Samaria, 19791983”, 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.[49][B]

Since 1967, government-funded settlement projects in the 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 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 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.[51]

In June 1997, the Likud government of 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 and Ma’aleh Adumim, other large concentrations of settlements in the West Bank, the entire Jordan Valley, a “security area”, and a network of Israeli-only bypass roads.[52][53]

In the 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 and remaining 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 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 and four in the northern West Bank were forcibly evacuated as part of Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip, known to some in 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 revealed the Civil Administration’s “Blue Line”-plan, written in January 2011, which aims to increase Israeli “state-ownership” of West Bank lands (“state lands”) and settlement in strategic areas like the Jordan Valley and the Palestinian northern Dead Sea area.[55] In March 2012, it was revealed that the Civil Administration over the years covertly allotted 10% of the 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]

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 (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 2,00020,0000, such as Alfei Menashe, Eli, Elkana, 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 and Yitav. Jewish neighborhoods have been built on the outskirts of Arab neighborhoods, for example in Hebron. In Jerusalem, there are urban neighborhoods where Jews and Arabs live together: the Muslim Quarter, Silwan, Abu Tor, Sheikh Jarrah and Shimon HaTzadik.

Under the Oslo Accords, the 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.

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

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

At the end of 2010, 534,224 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 were living on the West Bank, excluding Jerusalem, and the Jewish population in the Golan Heights exceeded 20,000.[54]

For the year 2012, the Jewish population in the West Bank settlements excluding 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 settlement of Kfar Adumim, put the settler population at up to 750,000: 400,000 in the 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 in Judea and Samaria, rather than 400,000 (now)”.[76]

By the end of 2016, the West Bank 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 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:

-4,400[85]

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 have been growing at a rate of 56% 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 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 was causing “profound and irreversible changes of a geographic and demographic nature”.[92]

The Israeli settlements in the West Bank make up what Israel calls the Judea and 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 is required.[93] Authority for planning and construction is held by the Israel Defense Forces Civil Administration.

The area consists of four cities, thirteen local councils and six regional councils.

The Yesha Council (Hebrew: “, Moatzat Yesha, a Hebrew acronym for Judea, 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 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 units were built, while 91 permits were issued for Palestinian construction, and 1,663 Palestinian structures were demolished in Area C.[95]

West Bank Palestinians have their cases tried in Israel’s military courts while 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 was rejected in 2012.[98]

On 31 August 2014, Israel announced it was appropriating 400 hectares of land in the West Bank to eventually house 1,000 Israel families. The appropriation was described as the largest in more than 30 years.[99] According to reports on Israel Radio, the development is a response to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers.[99]

East Jerusalem is defined in the Jerusalem Law as part of Israel and its capital, Jerusalem. As such it is administered as part of the city and its district, the Jerusalem District. Pre-1967 residents of East 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 and non-citizens in East Jerusalem, but the Jerusalem municipality does not.

The Golan Heights is administered under Israeli civil law as the Golan sub-district, a part of the Northern District. Israel makes no legal or administrative distinction between pre-1967 communities in the Golan Heights (mainly Druze) and the post-1967 settlements.

After the capture of the Sinai Peninsula from 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 into a city with a population of 200,000,[100] though the actual population of Yamit did not exceed 3,000.[101] The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in stages beginning in 1979 as part of the EgyptIsrael Peace Treaty. As required by the treaty, Israel evacuated the civilian population, which took place in 1982. Some evacuation was done forcefully in some instances, such as the evacuation of Yamit.

Before 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]

The consensus view[103] in the international community is that the existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is in violation of international law.[104] The 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 and the Golan Heights as a violation of international law.[106][107][108] UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon 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 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 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 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]

After the Six-Day War, in 1967, Theodor Meron, legal counsel to the 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 of the United States reached the same conclusion.[116][123]

The International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion, has since ruled that Israel is in breach of international law by establishing settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Court maintains that 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 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 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 Human Rights Council declared that Jewish settlements constituted a creeping annexation based on multiple violations of the Geneva Conventions and international law, and stated that if Palestine ratified the Rome Accord, 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 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 is in violation of international law.[130]

Four prominent jurists cited the concept of the “sovereignty vacuum” in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War to describe the legal status of the 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 in 1970.[136] Eugene V. Rostow also argued in 1979 that the occupied territories’ legal status was undetermined.[137]

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

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 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 plans to retain in the West Bank is privately owned by Palestinians.[150] Peace Now called this a violation of Israeli law.[151] Peace Now published a comprehensive report about settlements on private lands.[152][153] In the wake of a legal battle, 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 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 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 were illegal outposts, and that large portions of Ofra, Elon Moreh and 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 owned by 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 charged that 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 to expropriate Palestinian land is to place desired areas under a ‘military firing zone’ classification, and then issue orders for the evacuation of Palestinians from the villages in that range, while allowing contiguous Jewish settlements to remain unaffected.[161]

Amnesty International argues that Israel’s settlement policy is discriminatory and a violation of Palestinian human rights.[162] B’Tselem claims that Israeli travel restrictions impact on Palestinian freedom of movement[163] and Palestinian human rights have been violated in 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 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 in the 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 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 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 barrier has been criticized as an infringement on Palestinian human and land rights. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that 10% of the West Bank would fall on the Israeli side of the barrier.[173][174]

In July 2012, the UN Human Rights Council decided to set up a probe into 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 throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory” was published in February 2013.[175]

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 has built 16 industrial zones, containing roughly 1000 industrial plants, in the West Bank and 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 and Metarim (2001).[178]

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 law requires a distinction to be made between goods originating in Israel and those from the occupied territories. The former benefit from preferential custom treatment according to the EU-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 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]

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 and commercial firms to profit from Palestinian natural resources and tourist potential.[181] A 2013 report published by the 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]

Due to the availability of jobs offering twice the prevailing salary of the West Bank (as of August2013[update]), as well as high unemployment, tens of thousands of Palestinians work in Israeli settlements.[184][185] According to the Manufacturers Association of Israel, some 22,000 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 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 settlements increased from 16,000 to 20,000 in the first quarter.[185] The survey also found that Palestinians who work in 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 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 ruled that Israeli labor law does apply to Palestinians working in 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 opposed PA plans to prosecute Palestinians who work in the settlements. However, 72% of Palestinians support a boycott of the products they sell.[188] Although the 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]

Gush Emunim Underground was a militant organization that operated in 19791984. The organization planned attacks on Palestinian officials and the Dome of the Rock.[189][190] In 1994, 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 community. The Palestinian leadership has accused 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 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 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 20082009, 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 were recorded.[196]

Leading religious figures in the West Bank have harshly criticized these tactics. Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa said that “Targeting Palestinians and their property is a shocking thing, (…) It’s an act of hurting humanity. (…) This builds a wall of fire between Jews and Arabs.”[197] The Yesha Council and 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 because they are “easy victims.”[201] The United Nations accused Israel of failing to intervene and arrest settlers suspected of violence.[202] In 2008, 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 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 have been closed without charge.[205]

According to EU reports, Israel has created an “atmosphere of impunity” for Jewish attackers, which is seen as tantamount to tacit approval by the state. In the West Bank, Jews and 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 published a report in May 2012 strongly denouncing policies of the State of Israel in the 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 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 street. His family immediately reported the fact to Israeli Police who located his charred body a few hours later at Givat Shaul in the 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 IsraelGaza 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 and the IDF.[216] The European Union criticized Israel for “failing to protect the Palestinian population”.[216]

While the Economy of the Palestinian territories has shown signs of growth, the 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 had improved substantially, citing Mahmoud Abbas’s comment to 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 blamed the violence during the olive harvest on a handful of extremists.[219] In 2010, trees belonging to both Jews and Arabs were cut down, poisoned or torched. In the first two weeks of the harvest, 500 trees owned by Palestinians and 100 trees owned by 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 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 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 Police’s 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]

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 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 said the “prohibition against intentional attacks against civilians is absolute”.[227] 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 axe attack, children in 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 childrenYoav, 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]

Municipal Environmental Associations of 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 study, settlers account for 10% of the population in the West Bank but produce 25% of the sewage output.[citation needed] Beit Duqqu and 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 has also been criticized by environmentalists for not doing more to prevent water pollution.[237][238] Settlers and 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 46million cubic meters a year, and sources from settler sources at 15million 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 and Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, found that Palestinian towns and cities produced 56million cubic meters of sewage per year, 94 percent discharged without adequate treatment, while Israeli sources produced 17.5million 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 and Nablus was slated for conversion into an industrial waste dump. Pollution experts warned that the dump would threaten Palestinian water sources.[241]

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 in 2010 reported that Israeli settlement policies have had the effect of “forcing residents to leave their communities”.[243][244]

In 2008, Condoleezza Rice suggested sending Palestinian refugees to South America, which might reduce pressure on Israel to withdraw from the settlements.[245] Sushil P. Seth speculates that Israelis seem to feel[weaselwords] that increasing settlements will force many 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 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.

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2 Palestinians Killed, 98 Wounded in Clashes With Israeli …

Two Palestinian protesters were killed and 98 were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Friday. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in a second “Day of Rage” following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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A 30-year-old Palestinian was killed by IDF gunfire in the Khan Younis region in Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials. Another man, in his fifties, was killed in a clash in northern Gaza.

Some 3,000 protesters took part in demonstrations around the West Bank, including in the cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Tul Karm and Nublus. According to the Israeli army, protesters threw molotov cocktails and rocks. Security forces responded with live fire, rubber bullets and tear gas. Twenty-eight protesters were arrested.

Fifty-two Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets at protests in the West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported. Eleven were reportedly wounded by live fire.Dozens were treated for tear-gas inhalation, according to the Red Crescent.

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Some 4,500 Palestinians protested in six locations along the Strip’s border with Israel.The Red Crescent said 15 people were hurt by live IDF gunfire, and a further 20 wounded by rubber bullets in the area of Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza. Three people are reported to be critical condition. Clashes also took place in Jabalia and the Nahal Oz area, along the Strip’s border.

A number of protesters have been arrested at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, where skirmishes between Israeli police forces and Palestinian protesters took place after tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers attended Friday prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount compound.

Further protests were held in the Israeli towns of Umm al-Fahm, Kalansua and Kfar Kana. One man was arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks in the city of Nazareth, where a protest was held.

Thousands of protesters also took to the streets of the Jordanian capital of Amman after midday prayers to protest Trump’s announcement. Similar protests were held in Iraq, Egypt and Turkey, with more expected on Saturday.

Friday’s protests followed a “Day of Rage” on Thursday, in which at least 20 Palestinians were wounded in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in clashes with Israeli soldiers.

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West Bank – mobile Wiki

The West Bank (Arabic: a-iffah l-arbiyyah; Hebrew: , HaGadah HaMa’aravit) is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, the bulk of it now under Israeli control, or else under joint Israeli-Palestinian Authority control. The final status of the entire area is yet to be determined by the parties concerned. The West Bank shares boundaries (demarcated by the Jordanian-Israeliarmistice of 1949) to the west, north, and south with Israel, and to the east, across the Jordan River, with Jordan. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640km plus a water area of 220km, consisting of the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea. As of July 2015 it has an estimated population of 2,785,366 Palestinians, and approximately 371,000 Israeli settlers, and approximately another 212,000 Jewish Israelis in East Jerusalem. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. The International Court of Justice advisory ruling (2004) concluded that events that came after the 1967 occupation of the West Bank by Israel, including the Jerusalem Law, Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan and the Oslo Accords, did not change the status of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as occupied territory with Israel as the occupying power.

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The name West Bank is a translation of the Arabic term ad-Diffah I-Garbiyyah, given to the territory west of the Jordan River that fell, in 1948, under occupation and administration by Jordan, which claimed subsequently to have annexed it in 1950. This annexation was recognized only by Britain, Iraq and Pakistan. The term was chosen to differentiate the west bank of the River Jordan from the “east bank” of this river.

The neo-Latin name Cisjordan or Cis-Jordan (literally “on this side of the River Jordan”) is the usual name for the territory in the Romance languages and Hungarian. The name West Bank, however, has become the standard usage for this geopolitical entity in English and some of the other Germanic languages since its creation following the Jordanian army’s conquest.

In English, the name Cisjordan is occasionally used to designate the entire region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, particularly in the historical context of the British Mandate and earlier times. The analogous Transjordan (literally “on the other side of the River Jordan”) has historically been used to designate the region now roughly comprising the state of Jordan, which lies to the east of the Jordan River.

From 1517 through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank was under Ottoman rule as part of the provinces of Syria.

At the 1920 San Remo conference, the victorious Allied powers (France, UK, USA, etc.) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine (192047). The San Remo Resolution adopted on 25 April 1920 incorporated the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It and Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations were the basic documents upon which the British Mandate for Palestine was constructed. Faced with the determination of Emir Abdullah to unify Arab lands under the Hashemite banner, the British proclaimed Abdullah ruler of the three districts, known collectively as Transjordan. Confident that his plans for the unity of the Arab nation would eventually come to fruition, the emir established the first centralized governmental system in what is now modern Jordan on 11 April 1921. The West Bank area, was conquered by Jordan during the 1948 war with the new state of Israel.

In 1947, it was subsequently designated as part of a proposed Arab state by the United Nations (UN) partition plan for Palestine. The resolution recommended partition of the British Mandate into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an internationally administered enclave of Jerusalem; a broader region of the modern-day West Bank was assigned to the Arab State. The resolution designated the territory described as “the hill country of Samaria and Judea” (including what is now also known as the “West Bank”) as part of the proposed Arab state, but following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War this area was captured by Transjordan (renamed Jordan two years after independence in 1946).

1949 Armistice Agreements defined the interim boundary between Israel and Jordan. In 1950, Transjordan annexed the area west of the Jordan River, naming it “West Bank” or “Cisjordan”, as “East Bank” or “Transjordan” designated the area east of the river. Jordan ruled over the West Bank from 1948 until 1967. Jordan’s annexation was never formally recognized by the international community, with the exception of the United Kingdom. A two-state option, dividing Palestine, as opposed to a binary solution arose during the period of the British mandate in the area.The United Nations Partition Plan had envisaged two states, one Jewish and the other Arab/Palestinian, but in the wake of the war only one emerged at the time. King Abdullah of Jordan had been crowned King of Jerusalem by the Coptic Bishop on 15 November 1948. and granted Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Jordanian citizenship.

In June 1967, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were captured by Israel as a result of the Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian no man’s land, the West Bank was not annexed by Israel but came under Israeli military control until 1982.

Although the 1974 Arab League summit resolution at Rabat designated the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”, Jordan did not officially relinquish its claim to the area until 1988, when it severed all administrative and legal ties with the West Bank and eventually stripped West Bank Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship.

In 1982, as a result of the IsraeliEgyptian peace treaty, the direct military rule was transformed into a semi-civil authority, operating directly under the Israeli Ministry of Defense, thus taking control of civil matters of Palestinians from the IDF to civil servants in the Ministry of Defense. The Israeli settlements were, on the other hand, administered subsequently as Judea and Samaria Area directly by Israel.

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority officially controls a geographically non-contiguous territory comprising approx. 11% of the West Bank (known as Area A) which remains subject to Israeli incursions. Area B (approx. 28%) is subject to joint Israeli-Palestinian military and Palestinian civil control. Area C (approx. 61%) is under full Israeli control. Though 164 nations refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as “Occupied Palestinian Territory”, the state of Israel is of the view that only territories captured in war from “an established and recognized sovereign” are considered occupied territories. After the 2007 split between Fatah and Hamas, the West Bank areas under Palestinian control are an exclusive part of the Palestinian Authority, while the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas.

Area assigned for a Jewish state;

Area assigned for an Arab state;

Israeli controlled territory from 1949;

Arab controlled territory until 1967

From 1517 to 1917 the West Bank was part of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey, successor state to the Ottoman Empire, renounced its territorial claims in 1923, signing the Treaty of Lausanne, and the area now called the West Bank became an integral part of the British Mandate for Palestine. During the Mandate period Britain had no right of sovereignty, which was held by the people under the mandate. Nevertheless, Britain, as custodians of the land, implemented the land tenure laws in Palestine, which it had inherited from the Ottoman Turks (as defined in the Ottoman Land Code of 1858), applying these laws unto, both, Arab and Jewish legal tenants or otherwise. In 1947 the UN General Assembly recommended that the area that became the West Bank become part of a future Arab state, but this proposal was opposed by the Arab states at the time. In 1948, Jordan occupied the West Bank and annexed it in 1950.

In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the Six-Day War. UN Security Council Resolution 242 that followed called for withdrawal from territories occupied in the conflict in exchange for peace and mutual recognition. Since 1979 the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the United States, the EU, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as occupied Palestinian territory or the occupied territories. General Assembly resolution 58/292 (17 May 2004) affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over the area.

The International Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Israel have ruled that the status of the West Bank is that of military occupation. In its 2004 advisory opinion the International Court of Justice concluded that:

The territories situated between the Green Line and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan. Under customary international law, the Court observes, these were therefore occupied territories in which Israel had the status of occupying Power. Subsequent events in these territories have done nothing to alter this situation. The Court concludes that all these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and that Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power.

In the same vein the Israeli Supreme Court stated in the 2004 Beit Sourik case that:

The general point of departure of all parties which is also our point of departure is that Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica)……The authority of the military commander flows from the provisions of public international law regarding belligerent occupation. These rules are established principally in the Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907 [hereinafter the Hague Regulations]. These regulations reflect customary international law. The military commanders authority is also anchored in IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949.

The executive branch of the Israeli government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has defined the West Bank as disputed territory, whose status can only be determined through negotiations. The Ministry says that occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign, and that since the West Bank wasn’t under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six-Day War, it shouldn’t be considered an occupied territory.

The International Court of Justice ruling of 9 July 2004, however, found that the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is territory held by Israel under military occupation, regardless of its status prior to it coming under Israeli occupation and the Fourth Geneva convention applies de jure. The international community regards the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as territories occupied by Israel.

International law (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention) prohibits “transfers of the population of an occupying power to occupied territories”, incurring a responsibility on the part of Israel’s government to not settle Israeli citizens in the West Bank.

As of 27 September 2013, 134 (69.4%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine within the Palestinian territories, which are recognized by Israel to constitute a single territorial unit, and of which the West Bank is the core of the would-be state.

The future status of the West Bank, together with the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean shore, has been the subject of negotiation between the Palestinians and Israelis, although the current Road Map for Peace, proposed by the “Quartet” comprising the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, envisions an independent Palestinian state in these territories living side by side with Israel (see also proposals for a Palestinian state). However, the “Road Map” states that in the first phase, Palestinians must end all attacks on Israel, whereas Israel must dismantle outposts. Since neither condition has been met since the Road Map was “accepted” by all sides, final negotiations have not yet begun on major political differences.

The Palestinian Authority believes that the West Bank ought to be a part of their sovereign nation, and that the presence of Israeli military control is a violation of their right to Palestinian Authority rule. The United Nations calls the West Bank and Gaza Strip Israeli-occupied territories. The United States State Department also refers to the territories as occupied. Many Israelis and their supporters prefer the term disputed territories, because they claim part of the territory for themselves, and state that the land has not for 2000 years been sovereign.

Palestinian public opinion opposes Israeli military and settler presence on the West Bank as a violation of their right to statehood and sovereignty. Israeli opinion is split into a number of views:

In 2005 the United States ambassador to Israel, Daniel C. Kurtzer, expressed U.S. support “for the retention by Israel of major Israeli population centres [in the West Bank] as an outcome of negotiations”, reflecting President Bush’s statement a year earlier that a permanent peace treaty would have to reflect “demographic realities” on the West Bank. In May 2011 US President Barack Obama officially stated US support for a future Palestinian state based on borders prior to the 1967 War, allowing for land swaps where they are mutually agreeable between the two sides. Obama was the first US president to formally support the policy, but he stated that it had been one long held by the US in its Middle East negotiations.

The West Bank has an area of 5,628 square kilometres (2,173sqmi), which comprises 21.2% of former Mandatory Palestine (excluding Jordan) and has generally rugged mountainous terrain. The total length of the land boundaries of the region are 404 kilometres (251 miles). The terrain is mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in the west, but somewhat barren in the east. The elevation span between the shoreline of the Dead Sea at 408 m to the highest point at Mount Nabi Yunis, at 1,030 m (3,379ft) above sea level. The area of West Bank is landlocked; highlands are main recharge area for Israel’s coastal aquifers.

There are few natural resources in the area except the highly arable land, which comprises 27% of the land area of the region. It is mostly used as permanent pastures (32% of arable land) and seasonal agricultural uses (40%). Forests and woodland comprise just 1%, with no permanent crops.

The climate in the West Bank is mostly Mediterranean, slightly cooler at elevated areas compared with the shoreline, west to the area. In the east, the West Bank includes the Judean Desert and the shoreline of the Dead Sea both with dry and hot climate.

The 1993 Oslo Accords declared the final status of the West Bank to be subject to a forthcoming settlement between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. Following these interim accords, Israel withdrew its military rule from some parts of the West Bank, which was divided into three administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords:

Area A, 2.7%, full civil control of the Palestinian Authority, comprises Palestinian towns, and some rural areas away from Israeli settlements in the north (between Jenin, Nablus, Tubas, and Tulkarm), the south (around Hebron), and one in the center south of Salfit. Area B, 25.2%, adds other populated rural areas, many closer to the center of the West Bank. Area C contains all the Israeli settlements (excluding settlements in East Jerusalem), roads used to access the settlements, buffer zones (near settlements, roads, strategic areas, and Israel), and almost all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert.

Areas A and B are themselves divided among 227 separate areas (199 of which are smaller than 2 square kilometers (1sqmi)) that are separated from one another by Israeli-controlled Area C. Areas A, B, and C cross the 11 governorates used as administrative divisions by the Palestinian National Authority, Israel, and the IDF and named after major cities. The mainly open areas of Area C, which contains all of the basic resources of arable and building land, water springs, quarries and sites of touristic value needed to develop a viable Palestinian state, were to be handed over to the Palestinians by 1999 under the Oslo Accords as part of a final status agreement. This agreement was never achieved.

According to B’tselem, while the vast majority of the Palestinian population lives in areas A and B, the vacant land available for construction in dozens of villages and towns across the West Bank is situated on the margins of the communities and defined as area C. Less than 1% of area C is designated for use by Palestinians, who are also unable to legally build in their own existing villages in area C due to Israeli authorities’ restrictions,

An assessment by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in 2007 found that approximately 40% of the West Bank was taken up by Israeli infrastructure. The infrastructure, consisting of settlements, the barrier, military bases and closed military areas, Israeli declared nature reserves and the roads that accompany them is off-limits or tightly controlled to Palestinians.

In June 2011, the Independent Commission for Human Rights published a report that found that Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subjected in 2010 to an “almost systematic campaign” of human rights abuse by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as by Israeli authorities, with the security forces of the PA and Hamas being responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions.

Through the Jerusalem Law, Israel extended its administrative control over East Jerusalem. This has often been interpreted as tantamount to an official annexation, though Ian Lustick, in reviewing the legal status of Israeli measures, has argued that no such annexation ever took place. The Palestinian residents have legal permanent residency status. Rejecting the Jerusalem Law, the UN Security Council passed UN Security Council Resolution 478, declaring that the law was “null and void”. Although permanent residents are permitted, if they wish, to receive Israeli citizenship if they meet certain conditions including swearing allegiance to the State and renouncing any other citizenship, most Palestinians did not apply for Israeli citizenship for political reasons. There are various possible reasons as to why the West Bank had not been annexed to Israel after its capture in 1967. The government of Israel has not formally confirmed an official reason; however, historians and analysts have established a variety of such, most of them demographic. Among those most commonly cited have been:

The importance of demographic concerns to some significant figures in Israel’s leadership was illustrated when Avraham Burg, a former Knesset Speaker and former chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, wrote in The Guardian in September 2003,

As of December 2010, 327,750 Israelis live in the 121 settlements in the West Bank officially recognised by the Israeli government, 192,000 Israelis live in settlements in East Jerusalem. There are approximately 100 further settlement outposts which are not officially recognized by the Israeli government and are illegal under Israeli law, but have been provided with infrastructure, water, sewage, and other services by the authorities.

The international consensus is that all Israeli settlements on the West Bank beyond the Green Line are illegal under international law. In particular, the European Union as a whole considers the settlements to be illegal. Significant portions of the Israeli public similarly oppose the continuing presence of Jewish Israelis in the West Bank and have supported the 2005 settlement relocation. The majority of legal scholars also hold the settlements to violate international law, however individuals including Julius Stone, and Eugene Rostow have argued that they are legal under international law, on a number of different grounds. Immediately after the 1967 war Theodor Meron, legal counsel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry advised Israeli ministers in a “top secret” memo that any policy of building settlements across occupied territories violated international law and would “contravene the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

The UN Security Council has issued several non-binding resolutions addressing the issue of the settlements. Typical of these is UN Security Council resolution 446 which states [the] practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity, and it calls on Israel as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention held in Geneva on 5 December 2001 called upon “the Occupying Power to fully and effectively respect the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to refrain from perpetrating any violation of the Convention.” The High Contracting Parties reaffirmed “the illegality of the settlements in the said territories and of the extension thereof.”

On 30 December 2007, Israeli Prime MinisterEhud Olmert issued an order requiring approval by both the Israeli Prime Minister and Israeli Defense Minister of all settlement activities (including planning) in the West Bank. The change had little effect with settlements continuing to expand, and new ones being established. On 31 August 2014, Israel announced it was appropriating 400 hectares of land in the West Bank to eventually house 1,000 Israel families. The appropriation was described as the largest in more than 30 years. According to reports on Israel Radio, the development is a response to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers.

The Haaretz published an article in December 2005 about demolition of “Palestinian outposts” in Bil’in, the demolitions sparked a political debate as according to PeaceNow it was a double standard (“After what happened today in Bil’in, there is no reason that the state should defend its decision to continue the construction” credited to Michael Sfard).

In January 2012, the European Union approved the “Area C and Palestinian state building” report. The report said Palestinian presence in Area C has been continuously undermined by Israel and that state building efforts in Area C of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the EU were of “utmost importance in order to support the creation of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state”. The EU will support various projects to “support the Palestinian people and help maintain their presence”.

In May 2012, a petition was filed to the Israeli Supreme Court about the legality of more 15 Palestinian outposts and Palestinian building in “Area C”. The cases were filed by Regavim.

The petition was one of 30 different petitions with the common ground of illegal land takeover and illegal construction and use of natural resources. Some of the petitions (27) had been set for trials and the majority received a verdict.

Ynet News stated on 11 January 2013 that a group of 200 Palestinians with unknown number of foreign activists created an outpost named Bab al-Shams (“Gate of the Sun”), contains 50 tents

Ynet News stated on 18 January 2013 that Palestinian activists built an outpost on a disputed area in Beit Iksa, where Israel plans to construct part of the separation fence in the Jerusalem vicinity while the Palestinians claim that the area belongs to the residents of Beit Iksa. named Bab al-Krama

The Israeli West Bank barrier is a physical barrier ordered for construction by the Israeli Government, consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meters (197ft) wide exclusion area (90%) and up to 8 meters (26ft) high concrete walls (10%) (although in most areas the wall is not nearly that high). It is located mainly within the West Bank, partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or “Green Line” between the West Bank and Israel. As of April 2006 the length of the barrier as approved by the Israeli government is 703 kilometers (437mi) long. Approximately 58.4% has been constructed, 8.96% is under construction, and construction has not yet begun on 33% of the barrier. The space between the barrier and the green line is a closed military zone known as the Seam Zone, cutting off 8.5% of the West Bank and encompassing dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Palestinians.

The barrier generally runs along or near the 1949 Jordanian-Israeli armistice/Green Line, but diverges in many places to include on the Israeli side several of the highly populated areas of Jewish settlements in the West Bank such as East Jerusalem, Ariel, Gush Etzion, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Givat Ze’ev, Oranit, and Maale Adumim.

Supporters of the barrier claim it is necessary for protecting Israeli civilians from Palestinian attacks, which increased significantly during the Al-Aqsa Intifada; it has helped reduce incidents of terrorism by 90% from 2002 to 2005; over a 96% reduction in terror attacks in the six years ending in 2007, though Israel’s State Comptroller has acknowledged that most of the suicide bombers crossed into Israel through existing checkpoints. Its supporters claim that the onus is now on the Palestinian Authority to fight terrorism.

Opponents claim the barrier is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security, violates international law, has the intent or effect to pre-empt final status negotiations, and severely restricts Palestinian livelihoods, particularly limiting their freedom of movement within and from the West Bank thereby undermining their economy.

After the signing of the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into 11 governorates under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority. Since 2007 there are two governments claiming to be the legitimate government of the Palestinian National Authority, one based in the West Bank and one based in the Gaza Strip.

The West Bank is further divided into 8 administrative regions: Menashe (Jenin area), HaBik’a (Jordan Valley), Shomron (Shechem area, known in Arabic as Nablus), Efrayim (Tulkarm area), Binyamin (Ramallah/al-Bireh area), Maccabim (Maccabim area), Etzion (Bethlehem area) and Yehuda (Hebron area).

Allenby Bridge, or King Hussein Bridge, is the main port for the Palestinian in the West Bank to the Jordanian borders. This crossing point is controlled by Israel since 1967. It was inaugurated on 11 December 2011 under the military order “175” entitled An order concerning transition station. Later, Order 446 was issued which annexed the Damia Bridge crossing point to the Allenby Bridge as a commercial crossing point only. Goods were exported to Jordan, while the import was banned for security purposes.

In 1993, the Palestinian National Authority, according to Oslo Accord assigned by PLO and the Israeli government, became a partial supervisor over the Rafah Border Crossing to Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority was responsible for issuing passports to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, Israel remained the major responsible party for this crossing point. According to the agreement, Israel has the right to independently inspect luggage and to maintain security. In addition, it can prevent anyone from using the crossing.

As of the early-21st century, the economy of the Palestinian territories is chronically depressed, with unemployment rates constantly over 20% since 2000 (19% in the West Bank in first half of 2013).

According to the World Bank, the main reason for economic depression is the Israeli occupation.

According to a 2007 World Bank report, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has destroyed the Palestinian economy, in violation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. All major roads (with a total length of 700km) are basically off-limits to Palestinians, making it impossible to do normal business. Economic recovery would reduce Palestinian dependence on international aid by one billion dollars per year.

A more comprehensive 2013 World Bank report calculates that, if the Interim Agreement was respected and restrictions lifted, a few key industries alone would produce USD 2.2 billion per annum more (or 23% of 2011 Palestinian GDP) and reduce by some USD 800 million (50%) the Palestinian Authority’s deficit; the employment would increase by 35%.

In August 2014, Palestinian leaders said they would apply to the United Nations Security Council for the establishment of a timetable for ending the Israeli occupation. The application would be made on 15 September 2014, following an Arab League meeting on 5 September 2014 at which support for the move would be requested. Unless a timetable was established, the Palestinian leadership said it would apply to the International Criminal Court where it would hold Israel responsible for its actions not only in the West Bank, but also in the Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International has criticized the way that the Israeli state is dealing with the regional water resources:

Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) do not have access to adequate, safe water supplies…Discriminatory Israeli policies in the OPT are the root cause of the striking disparity in access to water between Palestinians and Israelis…The inequality is even more pronounced between Palestinian communities and unlawful Israeli settlements, established in the OPT in violation of international law. Swimming pools, well-watered lawns and large irrigated farms in Israeli settlements in the OPT stand in stark contrast next to Palestinian villages whose inhabitants struggle even to meet their essential domestic water needs. In parts of the West Bank, Israeli settlers use up to 20 times more water per capita than neighbouring Palestinian communities, who survive on barely 20 litres of water per capita a day the minimum amount recommended by the WHO for emergency situations response.

In December 2007, an official census conducted by the Palestinian Authority found that the Palestinian Arab population of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) was 2,345,000. However, the World Bank and American-Israeli Demographic Research Group identified a 32% discrepancy between first-grade enrollment statistics documented by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) 2007 projections, with questions also raised about the PCBS growth assumptions for the period 19972003. The Israeli Civil Administration put the number of Palestinians in the West Bank at 2,657,029 as of May 2012.

There are 389,250 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem, as well as around 375,000 living in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. There are also small ethnic groups, such as the Samaritans living in and around Nablus, numbering in the hundreds.

As of October 2007, around 23,000 Palestinians in the West Bank worked in Israel every day, while another 9,200 worked in Israeli settlements. In addition, around 10,000 Palestinian traders from the West Bank were allowed to travel every day into Israel. By 2014, 92,000 Palestinians worked in Israel legally or illegally, twice as many as in 2010.

In 2008, approximately 30% of Palestinians or 754,263 persons living in the West Bank were refugees or descendants of refugees from villages and towns located in what became Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, according to UNRWA statistics. A 2011 EU report titled “Area C and Palestinian State Building” reported that before the Israeli occupation in 1967, between 200,000 and 320,000 Palestinians used to live in the Jordan Valley, 90% which is in Area C, but demolition of Palestinian homes and prevention of new buildings has seen the number drop to 56,000, 70% of which live in Area A, in Jericho. In a similar period, the Jewish population in Area C has grown from 1,200 to 310,000.

The most densely populated part of the region is a mountainous spine, running north-south, where the cities of Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, al-Bireh, Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron and Yattah are located as well as the Israeli settlements of Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim and Beitar Illit. Ramallah, although relatively mid in population compared to other major cities as Hebron, Nablus and Jenin, serves as an economic and political center for the Palestinians. Near Ramallah the new city of Rawabi is under construction. Jenin in the extreme north and is the capital of north of the West Bank and is on the southern edge of the Jezreel Valley. Modi’in Illit, Qalqilyah and Tulkarm are in the low foothills adjacent to the Israeli Coastal Plain, and Jericho and Tubas are situated in the Jordan Valley, north of the Dead Sea.

The population of the West Bank is 8085% Muslim (mostly Sunni) and 1214% Jewish. The remainder are Christian (mostly Greek Orthodox) and others.

In 2010, the West Bank and Gaza Strip together had 4,686km (2,912mi) of roadways.

Transportation infrastructure is particularly problematic as Palestinian use of roads in Area C is highly restricted, and travel times can be inordinate; the Palestinian Authority has also been unable to develop roads, airports or railways in or through Area C, while many other roads were restricted only to public transportation and to Palestinians who have special permits from Israeli authorities.

At certain times, Israel maintained more than 600 checkpoints or roadblocks in the region. As such, movement restrictions were also placed on main roads traditionally used by Palestinians to travel between cities, and such restrictions are still blamed for poverty and economic depression in the West Bank. Underpasses and bridges (28 of which have been constructed and 16 of which are planned) link Palestinian areas separated from each other by Israeli settlements and bypass roads”

Israeli restrictions were tightened in 2007.

As of August 2007, a divided highway is currently under construction that will pass through the West Bank. The highway has a concrete wall dividing the two sides, one designated for Israeli vehicles, the other for Palestinian. The wall is designed to allow Palestinians to pass north-south through Israeli-held land and facilitate the building of additional Jewish settlements in the Jerusalem neighborhood.

As of February 2012, a plan for 475-kilometer rail network, establishing 11 new rail lines in West Bank, was confirmed by Israeli Transportation Ministry. The West Bank network would include one line running through Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Ma’aleh Adumim, Bethlehem and Hebron. Another would provide service along the Jordanian border from Eilat to the Dead Sea, Jericho and Beit She’an and from there toward Haifa in the west and in also in a northeasterly direction. The proposed scheme also calls for shorter routes, such as between Nablus and Tul Karm in the West Bank, and from Ramallah to the Allenby Bridge crossing into Jordan.

The only airport in the West Bank is the Atarot Airport near Ramallah, but it has been closed since 2001.

The Palestinian Paltel telecommunication companies provide communication services such as landline, cellular network and Internet in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Dialling code +970 is used in the West Bank and all over the Palestinian territories. Until 2007, the Palestinian mobile market was monopolized by Jawwal. A new mobile operator for the territories launched in 2009 under the name of Wataniya Telecom. The number of Internet users increased from 35,000 in 2000 to 356,000 in 2010.

The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts from an AM station in Ramallah on 675kHz; numerous local privately owned stations are also in operation. Most Palestinian households have a radio and TV, and satellite dishes for receiving international coverage are widespread. Recently, PalTel announced and has begun implementing an initiative to provide ADSL broadband internet service to all households and businesses. Israel’s cable television company HOT, satellite television provider (DBS) Yes, AM and FM radio broadcast stations and public television broadcast stations all operate. Broadband internet service by Bezeq’s ADSL and by the cable company are available as well. The Al-Aqsa Voice broadcasts from Dabas Mall in Tulkarem at 106.7 FM. The Al-Aqsa TV station shares these offices.

Seven universities are operating in the West Bank:

Most universities in the West Bank have politically active student bodies, and elections of student council officers are normally along party affiliations. Although the establishment of the universities was initially allowed by the Israeli authorities, some were sporadically ordered closed by the Israeli Civil Administration during the 1970s and 1980s to prevent political activities and violence against the IDF. Some universities remained closed by military order for extended periods during years immediately preceding and following the first Palestinian Intifada, but have largely remained open since the signing of the Oslo Accords despite the advent of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (Second Intifada) in 2000.

The founding of Palestinian universities has greatly increased education levels among the population in the West Bank. According to a Birzeit University study, the percentage of Palestinians choosing local universities as opposed to foreign institutions has been steadily increasing; as of 1997, 41% of Palestinians with bachelor’s degrees had obtained them from Palestinian institutions. According to UNESCO, Palestinians are one of the most highly educated groups in the Middle East “despite often difficult circumstances”. The literacy rate among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) is 94.6% for 2009.

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Dozens injured in West Bank protests: report | TheHill

Dozens of peoplewere injured on Thursday in the Palestinian-dominated West Bank in protests afterPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for serious case of amnesia after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I dont want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, CNN reported.

Palestinian protestersused slingshots and threw rocks during the demonstrations, according to the network, and Israeli forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The State Department, on Tuesday, warnedU.S. citizens to avoidJerusalems Old City and the West Bank over fears of protests and violent reaction to the president’s announcement.

Palestinianshave claimed part of Jerusalem as their capital.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, has called foran uprising, or an “intifada,” to take effect on Friday.

The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries,Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, said on Thursday.

We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision, he continued.

Palestinians closed schools and shops in preparation, while the Israeli military announced it would deploy several battalions to the West Bank, according to The Associated Press.

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Airbnb Bans Listings in Israeli Settlements on West Bank …

Settler leaders called Airbnbs decision anti-Semitic. In a measure of the depth of the dispute over the territory, one Palestinian leader said Airbnb had not gone far enough. Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that while the decision was an initial, positive step, Airbnb had failed to state clearly that Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute war crimes. Human Rights Watch, the advocacy organization, said it had been speaking with Airbnb about its West Bank listings for two years, and it urged other companies to follow its example. The group said it would issue a report titled Bed-and-Breakfast on Stolen Land: Tourist Rental Listings in West Bank Settlements on Tuesday. One settlement resident, Eliana Passentin, 45, said she had listed her home in Eli, overlooking ancient Shiloh, on Airbnb in the past and had been thinking of doing so again for the Hanukkah holiday in December. Ms. Passentin, who has been living with her family in Eli for 23 years, said people from as far away as Nigeria had contacted her, wanting to pray in her garden overlooking ancient Shiloh. Ms. Passentin listed the location of her accommodation as Eli, Israel because, she said, it was just like anywhere else in Israel. Theyve been misled, she said of Airbnb. I hope a lot of pressure will be put on the C.E.O. of Airbnb and theyll realize they made a huge mistake. Ms. Passentin said: Its really about bringing people together, not politics. Thats what governments are for. We dont need Airbnb for that.

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November 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

West Bank – definition of West Bank by The Free Dictionary

In the afternoon of the second day we landed upon the west bank of the river, and, leaving Snider and Thirty-six to guard Victory and the launch, Delcarte, Taylor, and I set out after game.Scarcely had the horde of Torn passed out of sight down the east edge of the valley ere a party of richly dressed knights, coming from the south by another road along the west bank of the river, crossed over and drew rein before the cottage of Father Claude.Later she had been warned from this road by word that a strong British patrol had come down the west bank of the Pangani, effected a crossing south of her, and was even then marching on the railway at Tonda.The PCBS said the number of individuals participating in the labor force in Palestine was 1,374,600 in 2017 of which 870,000 where in the West Bank and 504,600 in Gaza Strip.This road and the separation of the four villages’ will cause separating the central part of the West Bank from its southern areas.Goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘West Bank,’ ‘Gaza,’ ‘Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank and Gaza,’ or ‘West Bank and Gaza Strip.The cartoon, published in Al Risalah (The Message), has raised tensions between Fatah and Hamas to a new level and has the potential to unite the entire West Bank against the entire Gaza Strip.City of Jackson West Bank Interceptor Condition Assessment City Project Number 3B0500903 The scope of services shall include evaluation of the internal condition of the West Bank Interceptor pipe using CCTV, sonar, and/or laser, and inspection and evaluation of all West Bank Interceptor manholes.Donors do need to act urgently in the face of a serious fiscal crisis facing the PA (Palestinian Authority) in the short term,” Mariam Sherman, the World Bank’s country director for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said in a statement.NABLUS: Occupied West Bank: Around 150 olive trees in the occupied West Bank were cut down overnight in an attack blamed by Palestinians on Jewish settlers.Israel is concerned that Islamist Palestinian group Hamas might manage to renew its military capacities in the West Bank and is thus preparing for such a possibility, the Jordanian daily AD DUSTOUR reported Tuesday.In a statement, the army played down any notion of mass deportation, saying the orders simply amended existing Israeli regulations to assure military “judicial oversight” in the extradition of anyone “residing illegally” in the West Bank.

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November 17, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

3 soldiers lightly injured in suspected West Bank car …

Three IDF soldiers on foot patrol in the West Bank were lightly injured when a car with Palestinian license plates attempted to run them over in a suspected car-ramming attack on Saturday night before fleeing, the Israeli military said in a statement. The incident occurred outside the Palestinian village of Husan, at the Al Khader Junction near the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit in the Etzion bloc. The IDF said it had launched a search for the alleged perpetrator. Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top storiesFree Sign Up The injured soldiers received initial medical attention at the scene and were being transferred to hospital for further treatment, the military said. “: 2 . ” 2 ” 1. Posted by Rescuers Without Borders on Saturday, 23 June 2018 Earlier this month, Israeli troops thwarted an attempted car-ramming attack in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The driver of the vehicle tried to run over soldiers stationed on a road leading to the Tomb of the Patriarchs but was shot dead by troops, according to the IDF. The army said the Palestinian assailant first attempted to run over an officer and another soldier with a small tractor.

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September 10, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

West Bank village prepares for homecoming of Ahed Tamimi

NABI SALEH, West Bank (AP) On the eve of Ahed Tamimi’s release from prison, the father of the Palestinian protest icon said Saturday that he expects her to take a lead in the struggle against Israeli occupation but that the 17-year-old is also weighing college options. In Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh, supporters prepared for Sunday’s homecoming, planting Palestinian flags on the roof of her family home and setting up hundreds of chairs for well-wishers in the courtyard. Ahed and her mother Nariman were arrested in December, after Ahed slapped two Israeli soldiers outside the family home and Nariman filmed the incident and posted it on Facebook. Both are to be released Sunday. To Palestinians and their international supporters, Ahed has become a symbol of resistance to Israel’s half-century-old military rule over the Palestinians. She is easily recognizable with her unruly mop of curly hair. In Israel, she is seen by many as either as a provocateur, an irritation or a threat to the military’s deterrence. Ahed’s father Bassem said Saturday that after her release from prison, “we expect her to lead and we will support her to lead” in the fight to end occupation. He did not say what this would entail. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians are increasingly disillusioned about efforts to establish a state in those territories, after more than two decades of failed negotiations with Israel. Bassem Tamimi said that his daughter completed her high school exams in prison, with the help of other prisoners who taught the required material. He said she initially hoped to attend a West Bank university but has also received scholarship offers abroad. Ahed was 16 when she was arrested and turned 17 in custody. Her case has trained a spotlight on the detention of Palestinian minors by Israel, a practice that has been criticized by international rights groups. Some 300 minors are currently being held, according to Palestinian figures. Meanwhile, Israeli troops on Saturday detained two Italian artists who had painted a large mural of Ahed Tamimi on Israel’s West Bank separation barrier, according to local activist Munther Amireh and amateur video posted online. The video shows armed soldiers ordering the two men, along with a Palestinian activist, to get out of a car next to the separation barrier. They are led away through an opening in the barrier. Israel’s military had no immediate comment.

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July 28, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

Jordanian annexation of the West Bank – Wikipedia

The Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was the occupation and consequent annexation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by Jordan (formerly Transjordan) in the aftermath of the 1948 ArabIsraeli War.[1][2] During the war, Jordan’s Arab Legion conquered the Old City of Jerusalem and took control of territory on the western side of the Jordan River, including the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus.[3] At the end of hostilities, Jordan was in complete control of the West Bank. Following the December 1948 Jericho Conference, and the 1949 renaming of the country from Transjordan to Jordan, the West Bank was formally annexed on 24 April 1950. The annexation was widely considered as illegal and void by the international community.[4] A month afterwards, the Arab League declared that they viewed the area “annexed by Jordan as a trust in its hands until the Palestine case is fully solved in the interests of its inhabitants.”[5] Recognition of Jordan’s declaration of annexation was only granted by the United Kingdom, Iraq and Pakistan.[6][7] When Jordan transferred its full citizenship rights to the residents of the West Bank, the annexation more than doubled the population of Jordan.[3] The naturalized Palestinians enjoyed equal opportunities in all sectors of the state without discrimination, and they were given half of the seats of the Jordanian parliament.[8] After Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Palestinians there remained Jordanian citizens until Jordan decided to renounce claims and sever administrative ties with the territory in 1988. Prior to hostilities in 1948, Palestine (modern-day West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel) had been under the British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument) control of the British Empire, which captured it from the Ottomans in 1917. The British, as custodians of the land, implemented the land tenure laws in Palestine, which it had inherited from the Ottoman (as defined in the Ottoman Land Code of 1858), applying these laws to both Arab and Jewish tenants, legal or otherwise.[9] Toward the expiration of the British Mandate, Arabs aspired for independence and self-determination, as did the Jews of the country.[10] Following Israel’s declaration of independence on 14 May 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion, under the leadership of Sir John Bagot Glubb, known as Glubb Pasha, was ordered to enter Palestine and secure the UN designated Arab area.[11] After the invasion, Jordan began making moves to perpetuate the Jordanian rule over the Arab part of Palestine. King Abdullah appointed governors on his behalf in the Arab cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramla and the Arab controlled part of Jerusalem, that were captured by Legion in the invasion. These governors were mostly Palestinians (including Aref al-Aref, Ibrahim Hashem and Ahmed Hilmi Pasha), and the Jordanians described them as “military” governors, so it wouldn’t anger the other Arab states, who opposed Jordan’s plans to incorporate the Arab part of Palestine into the kingdom. The king made other smaller moves towards the annexation of the West Bank: He ordered Palestinian policemen to wear the uniforms of the Jordanian police and its symbols; he instituted the use of Jordanian postage stamps instead of the British ones; Palestinian municipalities were not allowed to collect taxes and issue licenses; the radio of Ramallah called the locals to disobey the instructions of pro-Husseini officials and obey those of the Jordanian-backed governors.[12] The December 1948 Jericho Conference, a meeting of prominent Palestinian leaders and King Abdullah I, voted in favor of annexation into what was then Transjordan.[13] By the end of the war, Jordanian forces had control over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. On 3 April 1949, Israel and Jordan signed an armistice agreement. The main points included: The remainder of the area designated as part of an Arab state under the UN Partition Plan was partly occupied by Egypt (Gaza Strip), partly occupied and annexed by Israel (West Negev, West Galilee, Jaffa). The intended international enclave of Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. The Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of East Jerusalem.[14] All but one of the 35 synagogues in the Old City were destroyed over the course of the next 19 years, either razed or used as stables and chicken coops. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were replaced by modern structures.[15][16] The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones were used for construction, paving roads and lining latrines; the highway to the Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the site.[17] Armistice Demarcation Lines, 19491967 In March 1948, the British Cabinet had agreed that the civil and military authorities in Palestine should make no effort to oppose the setting up of a Jewish State or a move into Palestine from Transjordan.[18] The United States, together with the United Kingdom favoured the annexation by Transjordan. The UK preferred to permit King Abdullah to annex the territory at the earliest date, while the United States preferred to wait until after the conclusion of the Palestine Conciliation Commission brokered negotiations.[19] Jordan formally annexed the West Bank on 24 April 1950, giving all residents automatic Jordanian citizenship. West Bank residents had already received the right to claim Jordanian citizenship in December 1949. Jordan’s annexation was widely regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League and others. Elihu Lauterpacht described it as a move that “entirely lacked legal justification.”[20] The annexation formed part of Jordan’s “Greater Syria Plan” expansionist policy,[21] and in response, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria joined Egypt in demanding Jordan’s expulsion from the Arab League.[22][23] A motion to expel Jordan from the League was prevented by the dissenting votes of Yemen and Iraq.[24] On 12 June 1950, the Arab League declared the annexation was a temporary, practical measure and that Jordan was holding the territory as a “trustee” pending a future settlement.[25][26] On 27 July 1953, King Hussein of Jordan announced that East Jerusalem was “the alternative capital of the Hashemite Kingdom” and would form an “integral and inseparable part” of Jordan.[27] In an address to parliament in Jerusalem in 1960, Hussein called the city the “second capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”.[28] Only the United Kingdom formally recognized the annexation of the West Bank, de facto in the case of East Jerusalem.[29] The United States Department of State also recognized this extension of Jordanian sovereignty.[30][31] Pakistan is often claimed to have recognized Jordan’s annexation too, but this is dubious.[32][33] In 1950, the British extended formal recognition to the union between the Hashemite Kingdom and that part of Palestine under Jordanian occupation and control – with the exception of Jerusalem. The British government stated that it regarded the provisions of the Anglo-Jordan Treaty of Alliance of 1948 as applicable to all the territory included in the union.[34] Despite Arab League opposition, the inhabitants of the West Bank became citizens of Jordan. Tensions continued between Jordan and Israel through the early 1950s, with Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli commandos crossing the Green Line. Abdullah I of Jordan, who had become Emir of Transjordan in 1921 and King in 1923, was assassinated in 1951 during a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem by a Palestinian gunman following rumours that he was discussing a peace treaty with Israel. The trial found that this assassination had been planned by Colonel Abdullah el-Tell, ex-military governor of Jerusalem, and Musa Abdullah Husseini. He was succeeded by his grandson King Hussein of Jordan once he came of age in 1953, after his father Talal’s brief reign. Unlike any other Arab country to which they fled after the 1948 ArabIsraeli War, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank (and on the East Bank) were given Jordanian citizenship on the same basis as existing residents.[35] However, many of the refugees continued to live in camps and relied on UNRWA assistance for sustenance. Palestinian refugees constituted more than a third of the kingdom’s population of 1.5 million. In the Jordanian parliament, the West and East Banks received 30 seats each, having roughly equal populations. The first elections were held on 11 April 1950. Although the West Bank had not yet been annexed, its residents were permitted to vote. The last Jordanian elections in which West Bank residents would vote were those of April 1967, but their parliamentary representatives would continue in office until 1988, when West Bank seats were finally abolished. Palestinians enjoyed equal opportunities in all sectors of the state without discrimination.[8] Agriculture remained the primary activity of the territory. The West Bank, despite its smaller area, contained half of Jordan’s agricultural land. In 1966, 43% of the labor force of 55,000 worked in agriculture, and 2,300km were under cultivation. (Numbers that have fallen considerably since.) In 1965, 15,000 workers were employed in industry, producing 7% of the GNP. This number fell after the 1967 war, and would not be surpassed until 1983.[36] The tourism industry also played an important role. 26 branches of 8 Arab banks were present. The Jordanian dinar became legal tender, and remains so there today.[citation needed] There was a significant flow of population from the West Bank to East Bank, in particular to the capital, Amman. Clauses in the 3 April 1949 Armistice Agreements specified that Israelis would have access to the religious sites in East Jerusalem. However, Jordan refused to implement this clause arguing that Israel’s refusal to permit the return of Palestinians to their homes in West Jerusalem voided that clause in the agreement.[37] Tourists entering East Jerusalem had to present baptismal certificates or other proof they were not Jewish.[38][39][40] The special committee that was to make arrangements for visits to holy places was never formed and Israelis, irrespective of religion, were barred from entering the Old City and other holy sites.[41] The Jewish Quarter and its ancient synagogues were systematically destroyed such as the Hurva Synagogue[42][43] and gravestones from the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives were used to build latrines for Jordanian army barracks.[44][45] By the end of the Six-Day War, the formerly Jordanian-controlled West Bank with its one million Palestinian population had come under Israeli military occupation. About 300,000 Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan. After 1967, all religious groups were granted administration over their own holy sites, while administration of the Temple Mount sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims remained in the hands of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. On 31 July 1988, Jordan renounced its claims to the West Bank (with the exception of guardianship over the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem), and recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”[46][47] The 1993 Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel “opened the road for Jordan to proceed on its own negotiating track with Israel.”[48] The Washington Declaration[49] was initialled one day after the Oslo Accords were signed. “On July 25, 1994, King Hussein met with Israeli Prime Minister Rabin in the Rose Garden of the White House, where they signed the Washington Declaration, formally ending the 46-year state of war between Jordan and Israel.”[48] Finally, on 26 October 1994, Jordan signed the IsraelJordan peace treaty, which normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes between them.

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July 4, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

Israeli settlement – Wikipedia

Israeli settlements are civilian communities[i] inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish ethnicity,[1][2] built predominantly on lands within the Palestinian territories, which Israel has militarily occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War,[3] and partly on lands considered Syrian territory also militarily occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. Such settlements within Palestinian territories currently exist in Area C of the 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 Peninsula, and within the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip; however, Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 EgyptIsrael 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, while in 2005[4] all 21 settlements in the 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 20092013, 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 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 (Palestinian territory adjacent to West Jerusalem within 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 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 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 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 Security Council Resolution 2334 confirmed the illegality of the settlement enterprise and renders Israeli citizens involved with settling the 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 IsraeliPalestinian 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 living in Israeli settlements compared to the cost of housing and living in 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 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 citizens of Israel. A number of Palestinian non-Israeli citizens (as opposed to Arab citizens of Israel) also reside in Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem,[32] however, over 300,000 Israeli citizens (both Jewish citizens of Israel and Arab citizens of Israel) lived in settlements in East Jerusalem, and over 20,000 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 living in the West Bank and a further 375,000 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 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 [37] 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,[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 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 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 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 and the 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 is the inalienable heritage of the Jewish people, and that no part of the 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 in the 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 and Samaria, 19791983”, 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.[49][B] Since 1967, government-funded settlement projects in the 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 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 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.[51] In June 1997, the Likud government of 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 and Ma’aleh Adumim, other large concentrations of settlements in the West Bank, the entire Jordan Valley, a “security area”, and a network of Israeli-only bypass roads.[52][53] In the 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 and remaining 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 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 and four in the northern West Bank were forcibly evacuated as part of Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip, known to some in 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 revealed the Civil Administration’s “Blue Line”-plan, written in January 2011, which aims to increase Israeli “state-ownership” of West Bank lands (“state lands”) and settlement in strategic areas like the Jordan Valley and the Palestinian northern Dead Sea area.[55] In March 2012, it was revealed that the Civil Administration over the years covertly allotted 10% of the 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] 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 (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 2,00020,0000, such as Alfei Menashe, Eli, Elkana, 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 and Yitav. Jewish neighborhoods have been built on the outskirts of Arab neighborhoods, for example in Hebron. In Jerusalem, there are urban neighborhoods where Jews and Arabs live together: the Muslim Quarter, Silwan, Abu Tor, Sheikh Jarrah and Shimon HaTzadik. Under the Oslo Accords, the 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. Some settlements were established on sites where Jewish communities had existed during the British Mandate of Palestine. Other communities: Shimon HaTzadik, Neve Yaakov and Atarot which in post-1967 was rebuilt as an industrial zone. At the end of 2010, 534,224 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 were living on the West Bank, excluding Jerusalem, and the Jewish population in the Golan Heights exceeded 20,000.[54] For the year 2012, the Jewish population in the West Bank settlements excluding 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 settlement of Kfar Adumim, put the settler population at up to 750,000: 400,000 in the 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 in Judea and Samaria, rather than 400,000 (now)”.[76] By the end of 2016, the West Bank 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 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: -4,400[85] 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 have been growing at a rate of 56% 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 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 was causing “profound and irreversible changes of a geographic and demographic nature”.[92] The Israeli settlements in the West Bank make up what Israel calls the Judea and 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 is required.[93] Authority for planning and construction is held by the Israel Defense Forces Civil Administration. The area consists of four cities, thirteen local councils and six regional councils. The Yesha Council (Hebrew: “, Moatzat Yesha, a Hebrew acronym for Judea, 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 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 units were built, while 91 permits were issued for Palestinian construction, and 1,663 Palestinian structures were demolished in Area C.[95] West Bank Palestinians have their cases tried in Israel’s military courts while 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 was rejected in 2012.[98] On 31 August 2014, Israel announced it was appropriating 400 hectares of land in the West Bank to eventually house 1,000 Israel families. The appropriation was described as the largest in more than 30 years.[99] According to reports on Israel Radio, the development is a response to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers.[99] East Jerusalem is defined in the Jerusalem Law as part of Israel and its capital, Jerusalem. As such it is administered as part of the city and its district, the Jerusalem District. Pre-1967 residents of East 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 and non-citizens in East Jerusalem, but the Jerusalem municipality does not. The Golan Heights is administered under Israeli civil law as the Golan sub-district, a part of the Northern District. Israel makes no legal or administrative distinction between pre-1967 communities in the Golan Heights (mainly Druze) and the post-1967 settlements. After the capture of the Sinai Peninsula from 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 into a city with a population of 200,000,[100] though the actual population of Yamit did not exceed 3,000.[101] The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in stages beginning in 1979 as part of the EgyptIsrael Peace Treaty. As required by the treaty, Israel evacuated the civilian population, which took place in 1982. Some evacuation was done forcefully in some instances, such as the evacuation of Yamit. Before 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] The consensus view[103] in the international community is that the existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is in violation of international law.[104] The 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 and the Golan Heights as a violation of international law.[106][107][108] UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon 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 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 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 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] After the Six-Day War, in 1967, Theodor Meron, legal counsel to the 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 of the United States reached the same conclusion.[116][123] The International Court of Justice, in its advisory opinion, has since ruled that Israel is in breach of international law by establishing settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The Court maintains that 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 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 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 Human Rights Council declared that Jewish settlements constituted a creeping annexation based on multiple violations of the Geneva Conventions and international law, and stated that if Palestine ratified the Rome Accord, 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 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 is in violation of international law.[130] Four prominent jurists cited the concept of the “sovereignty vacuum” in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War to describe the legal status of the 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 in 1970.[136] Eugene V. Rostow also argued in 1979 that the occupied territories’ legal status was undetermined.[137] 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 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 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 was one of seven countries to vote against the Rome Statute to establish the International Criminal Court. Israel was opposed to a provision that included as a war crime the transfer of civilian populations into territory the government occupies.[148] Israel has signed the statute, but not ratified the treaty.[149] 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 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 plans to retain in the West Bank is privately owned by Palestinians.[150] Peace Now called this a violation of Israeli law.[151] Peace Now published a comprehensive report about settlements on private lands.[152][153] In the wake of a legal battle, 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 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 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 were illegal outposts, and that large portions of Ofra, Elon Moreh and 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 owned by 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 charged that 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 to expropriate Palestinian land is to place desired areas under a ‘military firing zone’ classification, and then issue orders for the evacuation of Palestinians from the villages in that range, while allowing contiguous Jewish settlements to remain unaffected.[161] Amnesty International argues that Israel’s settlement policy is discriminatory and a violation of Palestinian human rights.[162] B’Tselem claims that Israeli travel restrictions impact on Palestinian freedom of movement[163] and Palestinian human rights have been violated in 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 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 in the 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 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 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 barrier has been criticized as an infringement on Palestinian human and land rights. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that 10% of the West Bank would fall on the Israeli side of the barrier.[173][174] In July 2012, the UN Human Rights Council decided to set up a probe into 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 throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory” was published in February 2013.[175] 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 has built 16 industrial zones, containing roughly 1000 industrial plants, in the West Bank and 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 and Metarim (2001).[178] 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 law requires a distinction to be made between goods originating in Israel and those from the occupied territories. The former benefit from preferential custom treatment according to the EU-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 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] 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 and commercial firms to profit from Palestinian natural resources and tourist potential.[181] A 2013 report published by the 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] Due to the availability of jobs offering twice the prevailing salary of the West Bank (as of August2013[update]), as well as high unemployment, tens of thousands of Palestinians work in Israeli settlements.[184][185] According to the Manufacturers Association of Israel, some 22,000 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 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 settlements increased from 16,000 to 20,000 in the first quarter.[185] The survey also found that Palestinians who work in 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 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 ruled that Israeli labor law does apply to Palestinians working in 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 opposed PA plans to prosecute Palestinians who work in the settlements. However, 72% of Palestinians support a boycott of the products they sell.[188] Although the 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] Gush Emunim Underground was a militant organization that operated in 19791984. The organization planned attacks on Palestinian officials and the Dome of the Rock.[189][190] In 1994, 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 community. The Palestinian leadership has accused 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 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 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 20082009, 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 were recorded.[196] Leading religious figures in the West Bank have harshly criticized these tactics. Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa said that “Targeting Palestinians and their property is a shocking thing, (…) It’s an act of hurting humanity. (…) This builds a wall of fire between Jews and Arabs.”[197] The Yesha Council and 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 because they are “easy victims.”[201] The United Nations accused Israel of failing to intervene and arrest settlers suspected of violence.[202] In 2008, 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 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 have been closed without charge.[205] According to EU reports, Israel has created an “atmosphere of impunity” for Jewish attackers, which is seen as tantamount to tacit approval by the state. In the West Bank, Jews and 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 published a report in May 2012 strongly denouncing policies of the State of Israel in the 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 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 street. His family immediately reported the fact to Israeli Police who located his charred body a few hours later at Givat Shaul in the 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 IsraelGaza 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 and the IDF.[216] The European Union criticized Israel for “failing to protect the Palestinian population”.[216] While the Economy of the Palestinian territories has shown signs of growth, the 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 had improved substantially, citing Mahmoud Abbas’s comment to 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 blamed the violence during the olive harvest on a handful of extremists.[219] In 2010, trees belonging to both Jews and Arabs were cut down, poisoned or torched. In the first two weeks of the harvest, 500 trees owned by Palestinians and 100 trees owned by 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 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 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 Police’s 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] 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 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 said the “prohibition against intentional attacks against civilians is absolute”.[227] 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 axe attack, children in 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 childrenYoav, 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] Municipal Environmental Associations of 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 study, settlers account for 10% of the population in the West Bank but produce 25% of the sewage output.[citation needed] Beit Duqqu and 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 has also been criticized by environmentalists for not doing more to prevent water pollution.[237][238] Settlers and 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 46million cubic meters a year, and sources from settler sources at 15million 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 and Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, found that Palestinian towns and cities produced 56million cubic meters of sewage per year, 94 percent discharged without adequate treatment, while Israeli sources produced 17.5million 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 and Nablus was slated for conversion into an industrial waste dump. Pollution experts warned that the dump would threaten Palestinian water sources.[241] 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 in 2010 reported that Israeli settlement policies have had the effect of “forcing residents to leave their communities”.[243][244] In 2008, Condoleezza Rice suggested sending Palestinian refugees to South America, which might reduce pressure on Israel to withdraw from the settlements.[245] Sushil P. Seth speculates that Israelis seem to feel[weaselwords] that increasing settlements will force many 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 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.

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May 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

2 Palestinians Killed, 98 Wounded in Clashes With Israeli …

Two Palestinian protesters were killed and 98 were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Friday. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in a second “Day of Rage” following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. To really understand the Middle East – subscribe to Haaretz A 30-year-old Palestinian was killed by IDF gunfire in the Khan Younis region in Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials. Another man, in his fifties, was killed in a clash in northern Gaza. Some 3,000 protesters took part in demonstrations around the West Bank, including in the cities of Ramallah, Hebron, Tul Karm and Nublus. According to the Israeli army, protesters threw molotov cocktails and rocks. Security forces responded with live fire, rubber bullets and tear gas. Twenty-eight protesters were arrested. Fifty-two Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets at protests in the West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported. Eleven were reportedly wounded by live fire.Dozens were treated for tear-gas inhalation, according to the Red Crescent. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. > > Jerusalem for dummies: Why the world doesn’t recognize Jerusalam as Israel’s capital> > Some 4,500 Palestinians protested in six locations along the Strip’s border with Israel.The Red Crescent said 15 people were hurt by live IDF gunfire, and a further 20 wounded by rubber bullets in the area of Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza. Three people are reported to be critical condition. Clashes also took place in Jabalia and the Nahal Oz area, along the Strip’s border. A number of protesters have been arrested at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, where skirmishes between Israeli police forces and Palestinian protesters took place after tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers attended Friday prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque at the Temple Mount compound. Further protests were held in the Israeli towns of Umm al-Fahm, Kalansua and Kfar Kana. One man was arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks in the city of Nazareth, where a protest was held. Thousands of protesters also took to the streets of the Jordanian capital of Amman after midday prayers to protest Trump’s announcement. Similar protests were held in Iraq, Egypt and Turkey, with more expected on Saturday. Friday’s protests followed a “Day of Rage” on Thursday, in which at least 20 Palestinians were wounded in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in clashes with Israeli soldiers.

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December 9, 2017   Posted in: West Bank  Comments Closed

West Bank – mobile Wiki

The West Bank (Arabic: a-iffah l-arbiyyah; Hebrew: , HaGadah HaMa’aravit) is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, the bulk of it now under Israeli control, or else under joint Israeli-Palestinian Authority control. The final status of the entire area is yet to be determined by the parties concerned. The West Bank shares boundaries (demarcated by the Jordanian-Israeliarmistice of 1949) to the west, north, and south with Israel, and to the east, across the Jordan River, with Jordan. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640km plus a water area of 220km, consisting of the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea. As of July 2015 it has an estimated population of 2,785,366 Palestinians, and approximately 371,000 Israeli settlers, and approximately another 212,000 Jewish Israelis in East Jerusalem. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. The International Court of Justice advisory ruling (2004) concluded that events that came after the 1967 occupation of the West Bank by Israel, including the Jerusalem Law, Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan and the Oslo Accords, did not change the status of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as occupied territory with Israel as the occupying power. Contents The name West Bank is a translation of the Arabic term ad-Diffah I-Garbiyyah, given to the territory west of the Jordan River that fell, in 1948, under occupation and administration by Jordan, which claimed subsequently to have annexed it in 1950. This annexation was recognized only by Britain, Iraq and Pakistan. The term was chosen to differentiate the west bank of the River Jordan from the “east bank” of this river. The neo-Latin name Cisjordan or Cis-Jordan (literally “on this side of the River Jordan”) is the usual name for the territory in the Romance languages and Hungarian. The name West Bank, however, has become the standard usage for this geopolitical entity in English and some of the other Germanic languages since its creation following the Jordanian army’s conquest. In English, the name Cisjordan is occasionally used to designate the entire region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, particularly in the historical context of the British Mandate and earlier times. The analogous Transjordan (literally “on the other side of the River Jordan”) has historically been used to designate the region now roughly comprising the state of Jordan, which lies to the east of the Jordan River. From 1517 through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank was under Ottoman rule as part of the provinces of Syria. At the 1920 San Remo conference, the victorious Allied powers (France, UK, USA, etc.) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine (192047). The San Remo Resolution adopted on 25 April 1920 incorporated the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It and Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations were the basic documents upon which the British Mandate for Palestine was constructed. Faced with the determination of Emir Abdullah to unify Arab lands under the Hashemite banner, the British proclaimed Abdullah ruler of the three districts, known collectively as Transjordan. Confident that his plans for the unity of the Arab nation would eventually come to fruition, the emir established the first centralized governmental system in what is now modern Jordan on 11 April 1921. The West Bank area, was conquered by Jordan during the 1948 war with the new state of Israel. In 1947, it was subsequently designated as part of a proposed Arab state by the United Nations (UN) partition plan for Palestine. The resolution recommended partition of the British Mandate into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an internationally administered enclave of Jerusalem; a broader region of the modern-day West Bank was assigned to the Arab State. The resolution designated the territory described as “the hill country of Samaria and Judea” (including what is now also known as the “West Bank”) as part of the proposed Arab state, but following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War this area was captured by Transjordan (renamed Jordan two years after independence in 1946). 1949 Armistice Agreements defined the interim boundary between Israel and Jordan. In 1950, Transjordan annexed the area west of the Jordan River, naming it “West Bank” or “Cisjordan”, as “East Bank” or “Transjordan” designated the area east of the river. Jordan ruled over the West Bank from 1948 until 1967. Jordan’s annexation was never formally recognized by the international community, with the exception of the United Kingdom. A two-state option, dividing Palestine, as opposed to a binary solution arose during the period of the British mandate in the area.The United Nations Partition Plan had envisaged two states, one Jewish and the other Arab/Palestinian, but in the wake of the war only one emerged at the time. King Abdullah of Jordan had been crowned King of Jerusalem by the Coptic Bishop on 15 November 1948. and granted Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Jordanian citizenship. In June 1967, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were captured by Israel as a result of the Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian no man’s land, the West Bank was not annexed by Israel but came under Israeli military control until 1982. Although the 1974 Arab League summit resolution at Rabat designated the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”, Jordan did not officially relinquish its claim to the area until 1988, when it severed all administrative and legal ties with the West Bank and eventually stripped West Bank Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship. In 1982, as a result of the IsraeliEgyptian peace treaty, the direct military rule was transformed into a semi-civil authority, operating directly under the Israeli Ministry of Defense, thus taking control of civil matters of Palestinians from the IDF to civil servants in the Ministry of Defense. The Israeli settlements were, on the other hand, administered subsequently as Judea and Samaria Area directly by Israel. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority officially controls a geographically non-contiguous territory comprising approx. 11% of the West Bank (known as Area A) which remains subject to Israeli incursions. Area B (approx. 28%) is subject to joint Israeli-Palestinian military and Palestinian civil control. Area C (approx. 61%) is under full Israeli control. Though 164 nations refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as “Occupied Palestinian Territory”, the state of Israel is of the view that only territories captured in war from “an established and recognized sovereign” are considered occupied territories. After the 2007 split between Fatah and Hamas, the West Bank areas under Palestinian control are an exclusive part of the Palestinian Authority, while the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas. Area assigned for a Jewish state; Area assigned for an Arab state; Israeli controlled territory from 1949; Arab controlled territory until 1967 From 1517 to 1917 the West Bank was part of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey, successor state to the Ottoman Empire, renounced its territorial claims in 1923, signing the Treaty of Lausanne, and the area now called the West Bank became an integral part of the British Mandate for Palestine. During the Mandate period Britain had no right of sovereignty, which was held by the people under the mandate. Nevertheless, Britain, as custodians of the land, implemented the land tenure laws in Palestine, which it had inherited from the Ottoman Turks (as defined in the Ottoman Land Code of 1858), applying these laws unto, both, Arab and Jewish legal tenants or otherwise. In 1947 the UN General Assembly recommended that the area that became the West Bank become part of a future Arab state, but this proposal was opposed by the Arab states at the time. In 1948, Jordan occupied the West Bank and annexed it in 1950. In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the Six-Day War. UN Security Council Resolution 242 that followed called for withdrawal from territories occupied in the conflict in exchange for peace and mutual recognition. Since 1979 the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the United States, the EU, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as occupied Palestinian territory or the occupied territories. General Assembly resolution 58/292 (17 May 2004) affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over the area. The International Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Israel have ruled that the status of the West Bank is that of military occupation. In its 2004 advisory opinion the International Court of Justice concluded that: The territories situated between the Green Line and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan. Under customary international law, the Court observes, these were therefore occupied territories in which Israel had the status of occupying Power. Subsequent events in these territories have done nothing to alter this situation. The Court concludes that all these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and that Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power. In the same vein the Israeli Supreme Court stated in the 2004 Beit Sourik case that: The general point of departure of all parties which is also our point of departure is that Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation (occupatio bellica)……The authority of the military commander flows from the provisions of public international law regarding belligerent occupation. These rules are established principally in the Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907 [hereinafter the Hague Regulations]. These regulations reflect customary international law. The military commanders authority is also anchored in IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949. The executive branch of the Israeli government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has defined the West Bank as disputed territory, whose status can only be determined through negotiations. The Ministry says that occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign, and that since the West Bank wasn’t under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six-Day War, it shouldn’t be considered an occupied territory. The International Court of Justice ruling of 9 July 2004, however, found that the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is territory held by Israel under military occupation, regardless of its status prior to it coming under Israeli occupation and the Fourth Geneva convention applies de jure. The international community regards the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as territories occupied by Israel. International law (Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention) prohibits “transfers of the population of an occupying power to occupied territories”, incurring a responsibility on the part of Israel’s government to not settle Israeli citizens in the West Bank. As of 27 September 2013, 134 (69.4%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine within the Palestinian territories, which are recognized by Israel to constitute a single territorial unit, and of which the West Bank is the core of the would-be state. The future status of the West Bank, together with the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean shore, has been the subject of negotiation between the Palestinians and Israelis, although the current Road Map for Peace, proposed by the “Quartet” comprising the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, envisions an independent Palestinian state in these territories living side by side with Israel (see also proposals for a Palestinian state). However, the “Road Map” states that in the first phase, Palestinians must end all attacks on Israel, whereas Israel must dismantle outposts. Since neither condition has been met since the Road Map was “accepted” by all sides, final negotiations have not yet begun on major political differences. The Palestinian Authority believes that the West Bank ought to be a part of their sovereign nation, and that the presence of Israeli military control is a violation of their right to Palestinian Authority rule. The United Nations calls the West Bank and Gaza Strip Israeli-occupied territories. The United States State Department also refers to the territories as occupied. Many Israelis and their supporters prefer the term disputed territories, because they claim part of the territory for themselves, and state that the land has not for 2000 years been sovereign. Palestinian public opinion opposes Israeli military and settler presence on the West Bank as a violation of their right to statehood and sovereignty. Israeli opinion is split into a number of views: In 2005 the United States ambassador to Israel, Daniel C. Kurtzer, expressed U.S. support “for the retention by Israel of major Israeli population centres [in the West Bank] as an outcome of negotiations”, reflecting President Bush’s statement a year earlier that a permanent peace treaty would have to reflect “demographic realities” on the West Bank. In May 2011 US President Barack Obama officially stated US support for a future Palestinian state based on borders prior to the 1967 War, allowing for land swaps where they are mutually agreeable between the two sides. Obama was the first US president to formally support the policy, but he stated that it had been one long held by the US in its Middle East negotiations. The West Bank has an area of 5,628 square kilometres (2,173sqmi), which comprises 21.2% of former Mandatory Palestine (excluding Jordan) and has generally rugged mountainous terrain. The total length of the land boundaries of the region are 404 kilometres (251 miles). The terrain is mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in the west, but somewhat barren in the east. The elevation span between the shoreline of the Dead Sea at 408 m to the highest point at Mount Nabi Yunis, at 1,030 m (3,379ft) above sea level. The area of West Bank is landlocked; highlands are main recharge area for Israel’s coastal aquifers. There are few natural resources in the area except the highly arable land, which comprises 27% of the land area of the region. It is mostly used as permanent pastures (32% of arable land) and seasonal agricultural uses (40%). Forests and woodland comprise just 1%, with no permanent crops. The climate in the West Bank is mostly Mediterranean, slightly cooler at elevated areas compared with the shoreline, west to the area. In the east, the West Bank includes the Judean Desert and the shoreline of the Dead Sea both with dry and hot climate. The 1993 Oslo Accords declared the final status of the West Bank to be subject to a forthcoming settlement between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. Following these interim accords, Israel withdrew its military rule from some parts of the West Bank, which was divided into three administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords: Area A, 2.7%, full civil control of the Palestinian Authority, comprises Palestinian towns, and some rural areas away from Israeli settlements in the north (between Jenin, Nablus, Tubas, and Tulkarm), the south (around Hebron), and one in the center south of Salfit. Area B, 25.2%, adds other populated rural areas, many closer to the center of the West Bank. Area C contains all the Israeli settlements (excluding settlements in East Jerusalem), roads used to access the settlements, buffer zones (near settlements, roads, strategic areas, and Israel), and almost all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert. Areas A and B are themselves divided among 227 separate areas (199 of which are smaller than 2 square kilometers (1sqmi)) that are separated from one another by Israeli-controlled Area C. Areas A, B, and C cross the 11 governorates used as administrative divisions by the Palestinian National Authority, Israel, and the IDF and named after major cities. The mainly open areas of Area C, which contains all of the basic resources of arable and building land, water springs, quarries and sites of touristic value needed to develop a viable Palestinian state, were to be handed over to the Palestinians by 1999 under the Oslo Accords as part of a final status agreement. This agreement was never achieved. According to B’tselem, while the vast majority of the Palestinian population lives in areas A and B, the vacant land available for construction in dozens of villages and towns across the West Bank is situated on the margins of the communities and defined as area C. Less than 1% of area C is designated for use by Palestinians, who are also unable to legally build in their own existing villages in area C due to Israeli authorities’ restrictions, An assessment by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in 2007 found that approximately 40% of the West Bank was taken up by Israeli infrastructure. The infrastructure, consisting of settlements, the barrier, military bases and closed military areas, Israeli declared nature reserves and the roads that accompany them is off-limits or tightly controlled to Palestinians. In June 2011, the Independent Commission for Human Rights published a report that found that Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subjected in 2010 to an “almost systematic campaign” of human rights abuse by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as by Israeli authorities, with the security forces of the PA and Hamas being responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions. Through the Jerusalem Law, Israel extended its administrative control over East Jerusalem. This has often been interpreted as tantamount to an official annexation, though Ian Lustick, in reviewing the legal status of Israeli measures, has argued that no such annexation ever took place. The Palestinian residents have legal permanent residency status. Rejecting the Jerusalem Law, the UN Security Council passed UN Security Council Resolution 478, declaring that the law was “null and void”. Although permanent residents are permitted, if they wish, to receive Israeli citizenship if they meet certain conditions including swearing allegiance to the State and renouncing any other citizenship, most Palestinians did not apply for Israeli citizenship for political reasons. There are various possible reasons as to why the West Bank had not been annexed to Israel after its capture in 1967. The government of Israel has not formally confirmed an official reason; however, historians and analysts have established a variety of such, most of them demographic. Among those most commonly cited have been: The importance of demographic concerns to some significant figures in Israel’s leadership was illustrated when Avraham Burg, a former Knesset Speaker and former chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, wrote in The Guardian in September 2003, As of December 2010, 327,750 Israelis live in the 121 settlements in the West Bank officially recognised by the Israeli government, 192,000 Israelis live in settlements in East Jerusalem. There are approximately 100 further settlement outposts which are not officially recognized by the Israeli government and are illegal under Israeli law, but have been provided with infrastructure, water, sewage, and other services by the authorities. The international consensus is that all Israeli settlements on the West Bank beyond the Green Line are illegal under international law. In particular, the European Union as a whole considers the settlements to be illegal. Significant portions of the Israeli public similarly oppose the continuing presence of Jewish Israelis in the West Bank and have supported the 2005 settlement relocation. The majority of legal scholars also hold the settlements to violate international law, however individuals including Julius Stone, and Eugene Rostow have argued that they are legal under international law, on a number of different grounds. Immediately after the 1967 war Theodor Meron, legal counsel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry advised Israeli ministers in a “top secret” memo that any policy of building settlements across occupied territories violated international law and would “contravene the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention”. The UN Security Council has issued several non-binding resolutions addressing the issue of the settlements. Typical of these is UN Security Council resolution 446 which states [the] practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity, and it calls on Israel as the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. The Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention held in Geneva on 5 December 2001 called upon “the Occupying Power to fully and effectively respect the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to refrain from perpetrating any violation of the Convention.” The High Contracting Parties reaffirmed “the illegality of the settlements in the said territories and of the extension thereof.” On 30 December 2007, Israeli Prime MinisterEhud Olmert issued an order requiring approval by both the Israeli Prime Minister and Israeli Defense Minister of all settlement activities (including planning) in the West Bank. The change had little effect with settlements continuing to expand, and new ones being established. On 31 August 2014, Israel announced it was appropriating 400 hectares of land in the West Bank to eventually house 1,000 Israel families. The appropriation was described as the largest in more than 30 years. According to reports on Israel Radio, the development is a response to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers. The Haaretz published an article in December 2005 about demolition of “Palestinian outposts” in Bil’in, the demolitions sparked a political debate as according to PeaceNow it was a double standard (“After what happened today in Bil’in, there is no reason that the state should defend its decision to continue the construction” credited to Michael Sfard). In January 2012, the European Union approved the “Area C and Palestinian state building” report. The report said Palestinian presence in Area C has been continuously undermined by Israel and that state building efforts in Area C of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the EU were of “utmost importance in order to support the creation of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state”. The EU will support various projects to “support the Palestinian people and help maintain their presence”. In May 2012, a petition was filed to the Israeli Supreme Court about the legality of more 15 Palestinian outposts and Palestinian building in “Area C”. The cases were filed by Regavim. The petition was one of 30 different petitions with the common ground of illegal land takeover and illegal construction and use of natural resources. Some of the petitions (27) had been set for trials and the majority received a verdict. Ynet News stated on 11 January 2013 that a group of 200 Palestinians with unknown number of foreign activists created an outpost named Bab al-Shams (“Gate of the Sun”), contains 50 tents Ynet News stated on 18 January 2013 that Palestinian activists built an outpost on a disputed area in Beit Iksa, where Israel plans to construct part of the separation fence in the Jerusalem vicinity while the Palestinians claim that the area belongs to the residents of Beit Iksa. named Bab al-Krama The Israeli West Bank barrier is a physical barrier ordered for construction by the Israeli Government, consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meters (197ft) wide exclusion area (90%) and up to 8 meters (26ft) high concrete walls (10%) (although in most areas the wall is not nearly that high). It is located mainly within the West Bank, partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or “Green Line” between the West Bank and Israel. As of April 2006 the length of the barrier as approved by the Israeli government is 703 kilometers (437mi) long. Approximately 58.4% has been constructed, 8.96% is under construction, and construction has not yet begun on 33% of the barrier. The space between the barrier and the green line is a closed military zone known as the Seam Zone, cutting off 8.5% of the West Bank and encompassing dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Palestinians. The barrier generally runs along or near the 1949 Jordanian-Israeli armistice/Green Line, but diverges in many places to include on the Israeli side several of the highly populated areas of Jewish settlements in the West Bank such as East Jerusalem, Ariel, Gush Etzion, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Givat Ze’ev, Oranit, and Maale Adumim. Supporters of the barrier claim it is necessary for protecting Israeli civilians from Palestinian attacks, which increased significantly during the Al-Aqsa Intifada; it has helped reduce incidents of terrorism by 90% from 2002 to 2005; over a 96% reduction in terror attacks in the six years ending in 2007, though Israel’s State Comptroller has acknowledged that most of the suicide bombers crossed into Israel through existing checkpoints. Its supporters claim that the onus is now on the Palestinian Authority to fight terrorism. Opponents claim the barrier is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security, violates international law, has the intent or effect to pre-empt final status negotiations, and severely restricts Palestinian livelihoods, particularly limiting their freedom of movement within and from the West Bank thereby undermining their economy. After the signing of the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into 11 governorates under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority. Since 2007 there are two governments claiming to be the legitimate government of the Palestinian National Authority, one based in the West Bank and one based in the Gaza Strip. The West Bank is further divided into 8 administrative regions: Menashe (Jenin area), HaBik’a (Jordan Valley), Shomron (Shechem area, known in Arabic as Nablus), Efrayim (Tulkarm area), Binyamin (Ramallah/al-Bireh area), Maccabim (Maccabim area), Etzion (Bethlehem area) and Yehuda (Hebron area). Allenby Bridge, or King Hussein Bridge, is the main port for the Palestinian in the West Bank to the Jordanian borders. This crossing point is controlled by Israel since 1967. It was inaugurated on 11 December 2011 under the military order “175” entitled An order concerning transition station. Later, Order 446 was issued which annexed the Damia Bridge crossing point to the Allenby Bridge as a commercial crossing point only. Goods were exported to Jordan, while the import was banned for security purposes. In 1993, the Palestinian National Authority, according to Oslo Accord assigned by PLO and the Israeli government, became a partial supervisor over the Rafah Border Crossing to Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority was responsible for issuing passports to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, Israel remained the major responsible party for this crossing point. According to the agreement, Israel has the right to independently inspect luggage and to maintain security. In addition, it can prevent anyone from using the crossing. As of the early-21st century, the economy of the Palestinian territories is chronically depressed, with unemployment rates constantly over 20% since 2000 (19% in the West Bank in first half of 2013). According to the World Bank, the main reason for economic depression is the Israeli occupation. According to a 2007 World Bank report, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has destroyed the Palestinian economy, in violation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. All major roads (with a total length of 700km) are basically off-limits to Palestinians, making it impossible to do normal business. Economic recovery would reduce Palestinian dependence on international aid by one billion dollars per year. A more comprehensive 2013 World Bank report calculates that, if the Interim Agreement was respected and restrictions lifted, a few key industries alone would produce USD 2.2 billion per annum more (or 23% of 2011 Palestinian GDP) and reduce by some USD 800 million (50%) the Palestinian Authority’s deficit; the employment would increase by 35%. In August 2014, Palestinian leaders said they would apply to the United Nations Security Council for the establishment of a timetable for ending the Israeli occupation. The application would be made on 15 September 2014, following an Arab League meeting on 5 September 2014 at which support for the move would be requested. Unless a timetable was established, the Palestinian leadership said it would apply to the International Criminal Court where it would hold Israel responsible for its actions not only in the West Bank, but also in the Gaza Strip. Amnesty International has criticized the way that the Israeli state is dealing with the regional water resources: Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) do not have access to adequate, safe water supplies…Discriminatory Israeli policies in the OPT are the root cause of the striking disparity in access to water between Palestinians and Israelis…The inequality is even more pronounced between Palestinian communities and unlawful Israeli settlements, established in the OPT in violation of international law. Swimming pools, well-watered lawns and large irrigated farms in Israeli settlements in the OPT stand in stark contrast next to Palestinian villages whose inhabitants struggle even to meet their essential domestic water needs. In parts of the West Bank, Israeli settlers use up to 20 times more water per capita than neighbouring Palestinian communities, who survive on barely 20 litres of water per capita a day the minimum amount recommended by the WHO for emergency situations response. In December 2007, an official census conducted by the Palestinian Authority found that the Palestinian Arab population of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) was 2,345,000. However, the World Bank and American-Israeli Demographic Research Group identified a 32% discrepancy between first-grade enrollment statistics documented by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) 2007 projections, with questions also raised about the PCBS growth assumptions for the period 19972003. The Israeli Civil Administration put the number of Palestinians in the West Bank at 2,657,029 as of May 2012. There are 389,250 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem, as well as around 375,000 living in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. There are also small ethnic groups, such as the Samaritans living in and around Nablus, numbering in the hundreds. As of October 2007, around 23,000 Palestinians in the West Bank worked in Israel every day, while another 9,200 worked in Israeli settlements. In addition, around 10,000 Palestinian traders from the West Bank were allowed to travel every day into Israel. By 2014, 92,000 Palestinians worked in Israel legally or illegally, twice as many as in 2010. In 2008, approximately 30% of Palestinians or 754,263 persons living in the West Bank were refugees or descendants of refugees from villages and towns located in what became Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, according to UNRWA statistics. A 2011 EU report titled “Area C and Palestinian State Building” reported that before the Israeli occupation in 1967, between 200,000 and 320,000 Palestinians used to live in the Jordan Valley, 90% which is in Area C, but demolition of Palestinian homes and prevention of new buildings has seen the number drop to 56,000, 70% of which live in Area A, in Jericho. In a similar period, the Jewish population in Area C has grown from 1,200 to 310,000. The most densely populated part of the region is a mountainous spine, running north-south, where the cities of Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, al-Bireh, Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron and Yattah are located as well as the Israeli settlements of Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim and Beitar Illit. Ramallah, although relatively mid in population compared to other major cities as Hebron, Nablus and Jenin, serves as an economic and political center for the Palestinians. Near Ramallah the new city of Rawabi is under construction. Jenin in the extreme north and is the capital of north of the West Bank and is on the southern edge of the Jezreel Valley. Modi’in Illit, Qalqilyah and Tulkarm are in the low foothills adjacent to the Israeli Coastal Plain, and Jericho and Tubas are situated in the Jordan Valley, north of the Dead Sea. The population of the West Bank is 8085% Muslim (mostly Sunni) and 1214% Jewish. The remainder are Christian (mostly Greek Orthodox) and others. In 2010, the West Bank and Gaza Strip together had 4,686km (2,912mi) of roadways. Transportation infrastructure is particularly problematic as Palestinian use of roads in Area C is highly restricted, and travel times can be inordinate; the Palestinian Authority has also been unable to develop roads, airports or railways in or through Area C, while many other roads were restricted only to public transportation and to Palestinians who have special permits from Israeli authorities. At certain times, Israel maintained more than 600 checkpoints or roadblocks in the region. As such, movement restrictions were also placed on main roads traditionally used by Palestinians to travel between cities, and such restrictions are still blamed for poverty and economic depression in the West Bank. Underpasses and bridges (28 of which have been constructed and 16 of which are planned) link Palestinian areas separated from each other by Israeli settlements and bypass roads” Israeli restrictions were tightened in 2007. As of August 2007, a divided highway is currently under construction that will pass through the West Bank. The highway has a concrete wall dividing the two sides, one designated for Israeli vehicles, the other for Palestinian. The wall is designed to allow Palestinians to pass north-south through Israeli-held land and facilitate the building of additional Jewish settlements in the Jerusalem neighborhood. As of February 2012, a plan for 475-kilometer rail network, establishing 11 new rail lines in West Bank, was confirmed by Israeli Transportation Ministry. The West Bank network would include one line running through Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Ma’aleh Adumim, Bethlehem and Hebron. Another would provide service along the Jordanian border from Eilat to the Dead Sea, Jericho and Beit She’an and from there toward Haifa in the west and in also in a northeasterly direction. The proposed scheme also calls for shorter routes, such as between Nablus and Tul Karm in the West Bank, and from Ramallah to the Allenby Bridge crossing into Jordan. The only airport in the West Bank is the Atarot Airport near Ramallah, but it has been closed since 2001. The Palestinian Paltel telecommunication companies provide communication services such as landline, cellular network and Internet in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Dialling code +970 is used in the West Bank and all over the Palestinian territories. Until 2007, the Palestinian mobile market was monopolized by Jawwal. A new mobile operator for the territories launched in 2009 under the name of Wataniya Telecom. The number of Internet users increased from 35,000 in 2000 to 356,000 in 2010. The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts from an AM station in Ramallah on 675kHz; numerous local privately owned stations are also in operation. Most Palestinian households have a radio and TV, and satellite dishes for receiving international coverage are widespread. Recently, PalTel announced and has begun implementing an initiative to provide ADSL broadband internet service to all households and businesses. Israel’s cable television company HOT, satellite television provider (DBS) Yes, AM and FM radio broadcast stations and public television broadcast stations all operate. Broadband internet service by Bezeq’s ADSL and by the cable company are available as well. The Al-Aqsa Voice broadcasts from Dabas Mall in Tulkarem at 106.7 FM. The Al-Aqsa TV station shares these offices. Seven universities are operating in the West Bank: Most universities in the West Bank have politically active student bodies, and elections of student council officers are normally along party affiliations. Although the establishment of the universities was initially allowed by the Israeli authorities, some were sporadically ordered closed by the Israeli Civil Administration during the 1970s and 1980s to prevent political activities and violence against the IDF. Some universities remained closed by military order for extended periods during years immediately preceding and following the first Palestinian Intifada, but have largely remained open since the signing of the Oslo Accords despite the advent of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (Second Intifada) in 2000. The founding of Palestinian universities has greatly increased education levels among the population in the West Bank. According to a Birzeit University study, the percentage of Palestinians choosing local universities as opposed to foreign institutions has been steadily increasing; as of 1997, 41% of Palestinians with bachelor’s degrees had obtained them from Palestinian institutions. According to UNESCO, Palestinians are one of the most highly educated groups in the Middle East “despite often difficult circumstances”. The literacy rate among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) is 94.6% for 2009.

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Dozens injured in West Bank protests: report | TheHill

Dozens of peoplewere injured on Thursday in the Palestinian-dominated West Bank in protests afterPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for serious case of amnesia after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I dont want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, CNN reported. Palestinian protestersused slingshots and threw rocks during the demonstrations, according to the network, and Israeli forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The State Department, on Tuesday, warnedU.S. citizens to avoidJerusalems Old City and the West Bank over fears of protests and violent reaction to the president’s announcement. Palestinianshave claimed part of Jerusalem as their capital. The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, has called foran uprising, or an “intifada,” to take effect on Friday. The American decision is an aggression on our people and a war on our sanctuaries,Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, said on Thursday. We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision, he continued. Palestinians closed schools and shops in preparation, while the Israeli military announced it would deploy several battalions to the West Bank, according to The Associated Press.

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