"Terror is totally unacceptable, and Israeli occupation is totally unacceptable. Terror doesn't justify occupation, and occupation doesn't justify terror." - Yossi Sarid, Meretz leader







Jerusalem Right of Return Blaming the Victim Settlements Zionism Geneva Accord

Israeli Settlements

Many Arab nations have set themselves against the existence of Israel. Seemingly as a measure of security, Israel has supported the construction of settlements in areas not originally allotted to the Jewish state at its establishment, and has occupied or taken possession of the territory surrounding settlements. These settlements are very much contested, and are always one of the main focuses of the negotiations between the two sides.


Israeli settlements, especially in the West Bank and Gaza strip, are primary concerns for Hanan Ashrawi. They symbolize a dehumanization of the Palestinians and Israeli resistance to the formation of a lasting peace. She feels that the Israelis blame the victims of the occupation, and that 'resistance' is immediately equated with 'terrorism.' A complete withdrawal from the settlements would show the Israelis willingness to negotiate and hold to a solution. Dr. Ashrawi feels that the settlements embody the most important issues that face Israel and Palestine. The ability to determine final possession of land and the locations of borders is made difficult by the settlements and many land-ownership claims.

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.