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West Bank Settlements: Israel

  • 07 May 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Golan Heights

For Mains: Arab-Israeli War (1948), Arab-Israeli conflict

Why in News?

Recently, the Israel's Supreme Court has rejected a petition against the eviction of more than 1,000 Palestinian inhabitants of a rural part of the occupied West Bank in an area which Israel has designated for military exercises.

What was the Judgement?

  • The judgment has paved the way for the demolition of eight small villages in a rocky, arid area near Hebron known to Palestinians as Masafer Yatta and to Israelis as the South Hebron Hills.
  • Masafer Yatta residents and Israeli rights groups say that many of the Palestinian families have been permanently residing in the 3,000 hectares area since before Israel captured the West Bank, in the 1967 Six-Day War.

What is West Bank?

  • West Bank is a landlocked territory in West Asia. It also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea.
  • It was captured by Jordan after the Arab-Israeli War (1948) but Israel snatched it back during the Six-Day War of 1967 and has occupied it ever since.
  • The West Bank is sandwiched between Israel and Jordan.
    • One of its major cities is Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of Palestine.
  • At present, there are around 130 formal Israeli settlements along with 26 lakh Palestinians at West Bank.
  • Masafer Yatta is in the 60% of the territory where the Palestinian Authority is prohibited from operating.
  • The Palestinians want the West Bank to form the main part of their future state.

What was the Six-Day War 1967?

  • The Six-Day War was a brief, but bloody conflict fought in June 1967 between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
  • Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
  • Since 1967, the lands Israel seized in the Six-Day War have been at the center of efforts to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • Even though Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982 and withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the status of the Golan Heights and the West Bank continues to be a stumbling block in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. The area known as ‘Golan Heights’ sometimes appears in the news in the context of the events related to (2015)

(a) Central Asia
(b) Middle East
(c) South-East Asia
(d) Central Africa

Ans: (b)

Source: REU

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