Settlements and Colonization
Since 1967, Israel has colonized the oPt by systematically transferring parts of its Jewish civilian population into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in violation of international law. Today, more than half a million Israeli settlers, including over 190,000 in and around East Jerusalem, live in settlements established on land illegally seized from us in the oPt. These settlements range in size from nascent settlements or “outposts,” consisting of a few trailers, to entire towns of tens of thousands of settlers.
The aim and effect of Israel’s settlement enterprise has been to alter the oPt’s status, both physically and demographically, so as to prevent its return to us. The construction of Israeli settlements is designed to illegally confiscate our land and natural resources while confining our population to unsustainable, ever-shrinking enclaves and severing East Jerusalem from the rest of the oPt. By limiting the territorial contiguity and economic viability of the oPt, Israeli settlements pose the single greatest threat to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and hence, to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.