Israel's settlements: 50 years of land theft explained
Date Written: 21/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21906
Today, between 600,000 and 750,000 Israelis live in these sizeable settlements, equivalent to roughly 11 percent of the total Jewish Israeli population. So why have these housing compounds caused so much rancour and been called a threat to the prospect of peace in the Holy Land? Follow this journey to find out.
As European Jews began to colonise Palestine - many pushed by anti-Semitic persecution in Europe - the balance of land control between Palestinians and immigrant Jews shifted significantly.
The project was facilitated by the British, who were occupying Palestine from 1917 to 1947, with the aim of building a Jewish state.
Between 1922 and 1935, the Jewish population rose from nine percent to nearly 27 percent of the total population, displacing tens of thousands of Palestinian tenants from their lands as Zionists bought land from absentee landlords.
Under the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Jews were allocated 55 percent of the land, encompassing many of the main cities with Palestinian Arab majorities and the important coastline from Haifa to Jaffa.
The plan would deprive the Palestinian state of key agricultural lands and seaports, which led the Palestinians to reject the proposal.
Shortly after the issuance of UN Resolution 181 that called for partition, war broke out between Palestinian Arabs and Zionist armed groups, who, unlike the Palestinians, had gained extensive training and arms from fighting alongside Britain in World War II