98 Checkpoints: Israel’s ‘Settlopolis’

Jordan demanded the return of the West Bank in 1974 and in 1988 formally handed it over to the Palestinian Authority, but as of December 2010 375,000 Israelis live in 121 settlements in the West Bank as opposed to the 0 who lived there in 1967. Regardless of the legality of this, it is patently clear what is happening. Beitar Illit, the largest Israeli settlement in the West Bank, has 45,000 inhabitants and it has recently come under fire for releasing the sewage into Palestinian arable land. The village of Wadi Fukin has complained to the Israeli Authorities about mistreatment from the settlers and that the impact of settlers has run 11 of the local wells dry.

There are fears that this Settlopolis will enlarge over the years as 112 apartments were built in 2010 and in 2011 there were 612 housing tenders issued. Beitar Illit will keep expanding: in 1984 it was a settlement of a few families and now there are 375,000 inhabitants; an increase in population that is indicative of a new form of colonisation and expansion.

98 Checkpoints is a political blog set up by two Royal Holloway students, focused on providing informative articles and opinion pieces taken from sources on the ground; including diplomatic figures, political activists and residents of the area with first-hand experience of a conflict that is often misrepresented by mainstream media.  


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