Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Zionist Israeli Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Zionist Israeli Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza

Article excerpt

Dr. Jad Isaac, director general of the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), began his remarks by reminding listeners that the current boundaries of the West Bank and Gaza represent only 22 percent of the British Mandate of Palestine (the land over which the British received a mandate from the League of Nations in 1922). Dr. Isaac then showed a map depicting the location of settlements (hereafter called colonies) built on Palestinian land since 1967.

Since its victory in the Six-Day War, when it captured and occupied the West Bank and Gaza, Israel has taken control of 38 percent of Gaza (including colonies, security zones, military installations, buffer zones, and yellow areas) and has either confiscated or declared as "closed areas" more than 55 percent of the West Bank.

Presently, there are 18 Israeli colonies in the Gaza Strip housing an estimated 6,000 Israeli colonists, and over 200 colonies in the West Bank with a population of more than 400,000 colonists, half of whom reside in East Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Israel has expanded the area of East Jerusalem from 1,600 acres to 17,536 acres building settlements within these new borders. Israel evicted the entire neighborhood of Al Maghareba in Jerusalem's Old City to make way for the Wailing Wall Plaza. Over the years, Israel has been able to take control of over 55 locations in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Oslo II had established a timeline for final status negotiations to begin in May 1996 and finish by May 1999. During this time, the powers and responsibilities relating to territory (95 percent of the West Bank and Gaza) were gradually to be transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction. …

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