Sept. 19, 2017
The Washington Institute is compiling a web site tracking every Israeli settlement in the West Bank, including satellite imagery and population statistics. While the information is not yet completely posted, some interesting details have already come to light:
- Of the some 600,000 settlers who live outside Israel’s internationally recognized borders (including in parts of Jerusalem), just 94,000 are outside Israel’s border-like security fence;
- Of the settlers above, just 20,000 of those moved in since 2009, when Netanyahu returned to office. This is in the context of an area populated by 2.9 million Palestinians;
- Last year, 43 percent of the settler population growth was in just two towns that sit astride the Israeli border — and that Abbas himself has proposed for Israeli annexation.
In short, it appears that Israeli settlements have not undermined the possibility of a two-state peace agreement, and are, in fact, not even close to doing so.