A look at how West Bank settlements have grown over the years


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has largest seizure of land in the occupied West Bank in more than three decades and advanced plans to build thousands of new settlements, according to Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement monitoring group. They are the latest moves by Israel’s hardline government aimed at cementing Israel’s control over the area and facilitating the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

This map shows the expansion of settlements and outposts from 1967 to the present.

Half a century of settlements

Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians seek all three territories for their future state. In 56 years, Israel has built more than 100 settlements across the West Bank. Settlers have also built dozens of small, unauthorized outposts that are tolerated or even encouraged by the government. Some are later legalized.

Diminishing prospects for two-state

The international community considers the settlements illegal and illegitimate, and the Palestinians say they are the biggest obstacle to a lasting peace agreement.

But with more than 500,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank, it will be difficult – some say impossible – to divide the territory as part of a two-state solution.


Diehl reported from Seattle.

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