A panel commissioned by the Israeli government recommended July 9 that the state “legalize”* dozens of unsanctioned West Bank settlements. The government has not yet endorsed the recommendations, which include facilitating settlement construction by annulling orders of the Supreme Court of Israel and other legal rulings. The Palestinians, 2.5 million of whom live in the West Bank, claim the West Bank for a future state and have refused to continue peace negotiations with Israel until settlement construction is frozen. A 2004 World Court ruling held all Israeli West Bank settlements “illegal.” There are currently over 200 settlements and outposts in the West Bank, home to more than 500,000 Israeli settlers. Last week the Israeli Supreme Court postponed the demolition of “illegal” West Bank settlements at Ulpana, with 30 apartments having had been scheduled for demolition on July 1.
From Jurist, July 9. Used with permission.
*Note: All the West Bank settlements are illegal under international law.