Israeli settlers have built settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) with the political, military, and financial support of the government. The settlements were built for ideological, military and financial reasons. Today 38,3% of the land in the West Bank is beyond reach for Palestinians for a variety of reasons, including settlements, settlement-related infrastructure etc. 9.3 percent of West Bank land is under the municipal jurisdiction of the settlements .
Only a few months after the Six-Day War in 1967, the first Israeli settlement, Kfar Etzion, was established in the West Bank. From 1967 to mid-2010, Israel established 121 settlements in the West Bank. In 2005, 16 settlements in the Gaza Strip, together with four settlements in the northern West Bank were evacuated by Israel as part of the “Disengagement Plan”. Prior to the evacuation 7,595 settlers controlled 38 percent of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Settler movement has continued growing and expanding throughout the last few decades in contravention of international law and condemnation from the international community. Settlement construction has been a constant feature of Israel’s policy regardless of which party governs in Tel Aviv which means that settlement building is not a policy of either the right or the left; it is the policy of Israel.
In addition, Jerusalem is surrounded by 12 settlements, considered by Israel as neighborhoods within the Jerusalem municipality. According to international law, the Jerusalem neighborhoods on the east side of the Green Line, which until 1967 belonged to Jordan (“East Jerusalem”), are built on occupied territory.
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