February 2, 2017

Entrenching Israeli settlements in Palestinian land

Home demolitions and settlement expansions accelerate in defiance of international objections.

Israel has ramped up plans to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank by approving the construction of thousands of new homes. This comes a month after the United Nations called on Israel to stop its activities in the occupied territories, saying it is illegal and further jeopardises the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  

For decades, Israel has illegally built towns in internationally-recognised Palestinian land. But international condemnation has not stopped the growth of settlements and the widespread demolition of Palestinian homes.

While all settlements in the occupied territories are illegal under international law, some settler outposts deep in Palestinian lands are even illegal under Israeli law. Violence broke out on Wednesday after Israeli police enforced a court order to evict Israeli settlers refusing to leave the Amona outpost in the West Bank. In 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled the outpost was built illegally on Palestinian land and was to be demolished.

Palestinians have simultaneously been fighting the construction of future Israeli settlements, while also striving for the right to develop their own communities. Many Palestinian homes are demolished by Israeli authorities for lacking building permits, which are frequently denied.  

In part one of our discussion, The Stream looks at the settlement expansions in occupied territories and the challenges to Palestinian livelihood where they live. 

In this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Suhad Bishara @AdalahEnglish
Director, Land and Planning Rights Unit, Adalah

Ata Hindi @AtaRHindi
International Human Rights Lawyer

Emanuel Miller @emanumiller
Political Analyst

Josh Hasten @Joshhasten
Talk Radio Host, The Land of Israel

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