Many Israelis make reference to historical and religious connections
to the land in defense of settlements. Some settlements were established
even before the state of Israel, under the British Mandatory administration.
Claims have been made stating that the right of Israelis to settle in
the West Bank and Gaza strip is equivalent to that of local residents.
The Israeli government claims that the settlements do not violate national
law, and certainly do not justify terrorist action. However, Meretz,
a left-wing Israeli group, is set against terror and the occupation
of Palestine, including the building and sustaining of settlements.