The Israeli settlements are settlements inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish ethnicity, built on lands occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. The United Nations and the international community considers the settlements to be illegal under international law.
Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, which is partially under Israeli military administration and partially under the control of the Palestinian National Authority, and in the Golan Heights, which are under Israeli civilian administration.
The term sometimes includes communities in territory that was captured in 1967, but has since been under Israeli civil law, administration and jurisdiction in
- East Jerusalem, which is incorporated within the municipal borders of Jerusalem, though this de jure annexation under the Jerusalem Law is not recognized by the international community; and
- The Golan Heights, where military rule was revoked in 1981 and has since been under Israeli civil law, administration and jurisdiction under the Golan Heights Law.
An additional eighteen settlements formerly existed in the Sinai Peninsula, twenty-one in the Gaza Strip and four in the northern Samaria region of the West Bank. They were abandoned as part of Israeli withdrawals from these areas in 1982 (Sinai) and 2005.
A number of international bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and many legal scholars have characterized the settlements as a violation of international law.
Israeli policies toward these settlements have ranged from active promotion to removal by force, and their continued existence and status since the 1970s is one of the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- *"Israel, the national homeland of the Jewish people, was established in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1948. The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded by Yasir Arafat, is committed to establishing a Palestinian state, which would include territory on the West Bank and Gaza Strip now partially occupied by Israel. Radical Palestinian elements seek the destruction of Israel, and seek a Palestinian state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediteranean Sea." Palestine, The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002.
"Though Israeli forces withdrew from Nablus and parts of Ramallah on Sunday, traversing war-torn West Bank territory still under partial occupation makes for a difficult trip to school." Taylor, Catherine. "Palestinian schools hit hard by conflict", Christian Science Monitor, April 23, 2002.
- "Though under partial occupation, Palestinian society is one of the more democratic Arab societies today." Mohammed, Mima. "Palestinian Awareness Month aims to educate Stanford students", Stanford Daily, April 20, 2006.
- "The IDF would continue with its partial occupation of the West Bank and incursions in the Gaza Strip." "Chronological Review of Events Relating to the Question of Palestine", Monthly Media Monitoring Review, UNISPAL, Division for Palestinian Rights, March 2003.
- BBC NEWS | In Depth | Israel and the Palestinians | issues | Jerusalem: Crucible of the conflict
- B'Tselem - East Jerusalem