Israel Lifts Ban on Return to West Bank Settlements

Image copyright: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

The Facts

  • The Israeli Knesset voted on Tuesday to allow Jewish settlers to return to four settlements in the occupied West Bank by amending a 2005 law that mandated their evacuation. The vote sparked condemnation from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the EU.

  • The latest move by PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration has already raised tensions with Palestinians and the international community. The US, a close ally of Israel, said it was "extremely troubled” by the move and urged Israel to refrain from allowing settlers to return to the outposts.

The Spin

Pro-Israel narrative

Though ultimately the Jewish people do have a claim to the West Bank, known to many as Judea and Samaria, it's not necessarily in Israel's best interest to repeal the 2005 disengagement law. Besides the fact that tensions in the West Bank are already at a fever pitch — especially with Ramadan celebrations beginning — most of these settlements are built on privately-owned Palestinian land, and there are few legal avenues to seize it.

Pro-Palestine narrative

More and more, Israel demonstrates that it's neither interested in peace nor coexistence. Israel's ultimate goal is to colonize the entire region between the river and the sea piece by piece, either disenfranchising the indigenous Palestinian population or outright ethnically cleansing them. Emboldened by international silence after killing more Palestinians last year than in any other calendar year since the Second Intifada, the occupation is becoming even more violent.

Establishment split



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