West Bank Settlements Essay - Essay Prowess

West Bank Settlements Essay


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West Bank Settlements


The Israeli government opted to conform to a policy that allowed for Jewish settlement to be constructed on the West Bank, a Palestinian Arabs territory annexed by the Jewish state during the Six Day War. This has resulted in a lot of anger form the Palestinian Arabs communities and the international community (American Friends Service Committee, 2013). The Palestinian Arabs decry that they are living under occupation while the Israeli government on the other hand points out that it is against such settlements recognizing only officially sanctioned Jewish settlements in the West bank

However, the Israeli government offers security and basic social amenities such as water and electricity to its Jewish settler populations in the West Bank. This essay seeks to discuss opponents involved, background of the conflict and offer a workable conflict resolution policy on how best to address the West Bank settlements issue.


There are two major opponents in the West Bank settlements scheme supported by the Israeli government and strongly condemned by the Palestinian Authority, the Jews of Israel and the Arabs of Palestine (Anonymous, n.d). The Jews moved into the West Bank and though the Israeli administration says it does not support the settlements, its government ministries and diverse agencies continue to fund for the construction of more settlements (Clements, 2013).


After the brief Six Day War of 1967, the Israeli army annexed the West Bank from Arab held Palestine. As of 2013, there were more than 350,000 Jewish settlers occupying the West Bank (Clements, 2013). There are official Jewish settlements sanctioned by the Israeli government though some the settlements communities constructed without the direct approval of the Israeli government which it claims are unlawful (Anonymous, n.d).

Jewish and Palestinian arguments with regard to the west bank Settlements

Since the Jewish State was created in 1948, the Jewish population has grown tremendously resulting in the need for Israel’s occupation of the West bank to translate into Jewish settlements (Bar-Siman-Tov, 2010). This has resulted in the Israeli government allowing for official settlement construction in occupied areas of the West Bank as well as supporting illegal Jewish Settler communities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian Arabs on the other hand feel bitter about the occupation of the West Bank by Israeli settlers and more so, the continued confiscation of idle land from the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. One such case revolves around the Abu Ghneim Hill which prior to Israeli settlements was a highly popular recreational area for Arab Palestinians and the families residing in the nearby town of Bethlehem (American Friends Service Committee, 2013). Jewish settlements began to mushroom in the area and the once forested oasis was turned into Jewish settlements. After which Palestinian Arabs were prohibited from visiting the area. As such, this has been one of the core issues which have led to the collapse of peaceful negotiations as Israel has demanded that the area be ceded as Israeli territory (American Friends Service Committee, 2013).

Proposed conflict resolution policy

My proposal similar to the position of the international community is to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine via the two-state solution (Kelman, 2011).  The two-state solution provides for the division of Jerusalem into Jewish and Palestinian territories and for Israel to revert land annexed from Palestinian Arabs after the Six Day War. The West Bank settlements have been seen as a move that has derailed the two-state solution as it isolates the Palestinian Arab communities in the said territory (Kelman, 2011). The settlements in the West Bank have resulted in some degree of apartheid being experienced by the Arab Palestinian communities (Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 2013).

Implementation of the two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict

The two-state solution proposes that the Jewish populations be made fully aware of the implications the settler situation in the West Bank and other Arab Palestinian territories under control from the Israeli government (Clements, 2013). The two-state solution also recommends that the Palestinian Authority come up with a policy to accommodate Jewish settlers opting to remain in the Palestinian Arab territories of the West Bank. It is important to note that the two-state solution cannot succeed as envisaged should construction continue in the Israeli held Palestinian Arabs territory (Bar-Siman-Tov, 2010). The two-state solution will only work if there is mutual trust and political goodwill as well as respect for each other’s diverse cultural and religious heritage.


The Middle East has long been a volatile region more so due to the Israel Palestine conflict. Settlements in the West Bank are in clear disregard for internationally accepted treaties. The Israeli government continues to trivialize the issue as Palestinians continues feel as an oppressed people. The land annexed from the Palestinian Arabs should revert back to Palestinian control for the two –state solution to be workable and realize peace among the Palestinians and the Israelis.




American Friends Service Committee. (2013). Israel’s Settlement Policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Retrieved from http://afsc.org/resource/israel%E2%80%99s-settlement-policy-occupied-palestinian-territory

Anonymous. (n.d). Israeli Palestinian Confederation-The least unrealistic idea

Anonymous. (n.d). Thinking outside the two-state box.

Bar-Siman-Tov, Y. (2010). Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

Clements, H. (2013). Straightforward: The Simplicity of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Retrieved from http://www.wupr.org/2013/09/26/straightforward-the-simplicity-of-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. (2013). Are Israeli Settlements in the Palestinian Territories a Violation of International Law? Retrieved from http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=533

Kelman, H. C. (2011). A One-Country / Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Middle East Policy Council Spring 2011, Volume XVIII, Number 1