Question for Debate: Israeli’s Settlements – Legitimacy and Size

Below is an item republished in full from Amy Teibel, an Associated Press Writer, called ” Israeli settlements cover 42 percent of West Bank(full aknowledgement given).  It explains that Israeli Human Rights Group “B’Tselem” says the figure as high as 42 per cent of the West Bank is now in control of Israeli Settlers.  Of course Settlers argue that it is not so and only 9 per cent is controlled by them.  

source: opendemocracy.net

 

What do you think?   We know that much of the driving force behind the Settler Movement is in fact ultra-orthodox religious zeal, and that their claims to settlements is based on the assumption that all of the West Bank is in fact the God-Given Israel of ancient times.   At the same time, B’Tselem is not Palestinian nor is it Muslim, so for what reason would they point this information out?  They are well respected, award winning and the only criticism (and to a degree violence towards them) appears to only come from pro-Settlement organisations, the Settlers themselves and members of the far-right in government and the Israeli military (of which much of BTselem’s criticism gives.   It would be correct to say that Settlements continue, that is as aparant as the existance of an internationally condemned blockade on Gaza.

So the questions are, who do we believe?  What is the motives for such a figure?  What are the implications of such a figure?

JERUSALEM – Jewish settlements control more than 42 percent of the West Bank, and much of that land was seized from Palestinian landowners in defiance of an Israeli Supreme Court ban, an Israeli human rights group said Tuesday.

The group’s findings echo what other anti-settlement activists have claimed in the past: That settlements have taken over lands far beyond their immediate perimeters, sometimes from private Palestinians. Israel’s settlements have been a much-criticized enterprise throughout the decades and a major obstacle to peacemaking with the Palestinians.

“The extensive geographic-spatial changes that Israel has made in the landscape of the West Bank undermine the negotiations that Israel has conducted for 18 years with the Palestinians and breach its international obligations,” the B’Tselem group said in a summary of its report.

Settlers disputed the figures and said the report by the B’Tselem group was politically motivated. Israeli officials had no comment.

The report was based on official state documents, including military maps and a military settlement database, the B’Tselem said.

Although the actual buildings of the settlements cover just 1 percent of the West Bank’s land area, their jurisdiction and regional councils extends to more than 42 percent, the group added.

Twenty-one percent of the land for these settlements was seized from Palestinian landowners, much of it after Israel’s Supreme Court outlawed the practice in 1979.

Dani Dayan, chairman of the settlers council, said settlements control just 9.2 percent of the West Bank, not 42 percent.

“It’s a political report by an organization that has been taken over the most radical anti-Israel elements,” Dayan said. “The whole point is to sabotage the meeting between (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama.”

Netanyahu was en route Tuesday to Washington, where he was due to meet with Obama later in the day to discuss advancing peacemaking and other regional issues.

Some 300,000 Jews live in West Bank settlements and an additional 180,000 live in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Israel captured both territories from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war, along with the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians envision all three areas for a future state.

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About donny2811
Trots Nederlands, goed gereist en een begerige politieke centrist met een speciale afkeer voor basissen.

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