Israeli West Bank settlements are communities formed by citizens of Israel in the occupied territories of Palestine near the Jordan River. Their birth derives from a process of illegal colonization, which began after the Six Day War of 1967, supported by the right-wing nationalist Likud party. These settlements have been condemned by the United Nations as violating human rights.
The beginning of colonization
With the victory in 1967 against the coalition of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, the Israelis planned the creation of the Land of Israel, the region promised to the descendants of Abraham by divine will. The movement Gush Emunim, driven in 1974 by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, was the first to settle in the areas most densely populated by Palestinians, around the natural resources of the area, consequently pushing the Arabs towards the drier areas. With right-wing governments, the idea of imposing Tel Aviv’s right to control the whole of Israel becomes central. And so, in less than 10 years, the settlers went from 5 thousand to 55 thousand. In the 1990s they increased to 136 thousand and today there are more than 630 thousand who live in West Bank settlements.
The first settlers created kibbutzim, voluntary associative forms based on the values of collective property and equality. Then right-wing governments begin offering homes, education, services and lower taxes to anyone who wanted to become a settler. Settlements soon become villages and towns that develop around the West Bank’s natural resources. Although the area is under the control of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Hamas’ main political rival, the settlements have never recognized the PNA and remain under the control of Hamas.‘authority of Israel. In recent years, Tel Aviv has annexed a part of the West Bank that is highly populated by Israelis.
Because they are illegal
The violence and violations of human rights carried out in the colonial process which continues today, have also been condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Article 49 paragraph 6 of the fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel, states that “the occupying power will not be able to proceed with the deportation or transfer of a part of its civilian population in the territory occupied by it”. Added to this is Resolution 446 of the United Nations Security Council of 1979, which explicitly recognized its illegality .