Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Five Largest Israeli Settlements: Who Lives There, and Why

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Five Largest Israeli Settlements: Who Lives There, and Why

Article excerpt

The end goal of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is two separate, sovereign states. Palestinians say that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, deemed illegal by the United Nations, influence the outcome of such talks. With more than 300,000 Israelis now living in such settlements, Israel expects to keep at least some of them under a final peace deal - possibly as part of a land swap.An estimated three-quarters of Israeli settlers live on a relatively small percentage of the West Bank, most of them in communities adjacent to Israel proper. Some of them are ideologically driven and some are attracted by the low cost of living; many are motivated by a combination of the two. Here are the five most populous settlements in the West Bank.

The end goal of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is two separate, sovereign states. Palestinians say that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, deemed illegal by the United Nations, influence the outcome of such talks. With more than 300,000 Israelis now living in such settlements, Israel expects to keep at least some of them under a final peace deal - possibly as part of a land swap.

An estimated three-quarters of Israeli settlers live on a relatively small percentage of the West Bank, most of them in communities adjacent to Israel proper. Some of them are ideologically driven and some are attracted by the low cost of living; many are motivated by a combination of the two.

Here are the five most populous settlements in the West Bank.

#5 Ariel

Founded in 1978

Population: 16,716

Of the five largest settlements in the West Bank, Ariel is located the furthest from the Green Line - more than 9 miles. It lies east of Tel Aviv and north of Jerusalem. Though it remains on the Palestinian side of the separation barrier, it is considered a strategic bulwark protecting Israel's narrow middle. It has a university, the Ariel University Center of Samaria, that enrolls 8,500 students, both Jews and Arabs.

See map.

#4 Gush Etzion bloc

First post-1948 settlement was founded in 1967

Population: 20,532 (excluding Betar Illit)

Gush Etzion is the collective name used for a group of Israeli settlements in the vicinity of the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The Foundation for Middle East Peace counts 15 settlements as part of the bloc, including Betar Illit. The settlements lie on both sides of the separation barrier, but entirely on the Palestinian side of the Green Line. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.