Essay on Israeli Settlements

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On the 17th of April 2012, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicating the only way the Palestinian Authority would agree to move forward with peace talks is if Israel would agree to freeze the building of settlements in the West Bank1. Israeli settlements in the West Bank have become the largest obstacle in negotiating a two-state solution and it appears the continued expansion of Israeli settlements may render a two-state solution impossible. Inside the Israeli government following the 1967 war there was a debate about how to deal with the newly occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and Golan Heights. The debate revolved around two…show more content…
With Israel’s border needs in mind, Allon proposed a multifaceted solution for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. He suggested Israel would incorporate the Jordan Valley, the Judean desert along the west coast of the Dead Sea, the area surrounding the Jerusalem metropolitan area, and a small tract of land south west of the Palestinian city of Hebron6. This configuration of newly incorporated land was designed to “provide Israel with the minimal defensible borders that are indispensable without impairing, to any meaningful extent, the basic interests of the other side, including those of the Palestinian community”7. It is important to note that Allon envisioned that the non-incorporated “Palestinian” parts of the West Bank would remain free of Israeli settlers and would eventually be handed back to the Kingdom of Jordan in order to form a future Jordanian-Palestinian state. The second important part of Allon’s plan is the use of a “selective settlement policy” within the incorporated areas of the West Bank as part of Israel’s defense strategy8. The selective settlement policy allowed for Israelis to settle in the West Bank, but only in areas lacking large Palestinian cities and villages. Unfortunately, the Allon Plan failed to account for the religious fundamentalism that would motivate much of the settlement building in the West Bank. Founded in 1974, the Gush Emunim movement strongly advocated the return of Jews to the
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