The Israeli settlement enterprise
Extending the national project into occupied territorySince 1967, Israel has been engaged in constructing and expanding Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. Today nearly half a million settlers reside in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is a consequence of a broad variety of strategies of legitimization and modes of implementing policies which have been deployed with varying intensity over the last four decades.
While the enterprise in its entirety stands in stark contrast to both international law and to the requirements needed to realize the establishment of a Palestinian state – and as such the much debated two-state solution – the construction work continues on the ground. By exploring the nature of the phenomenon, its scope and its implications for resolving the conflict, this study seeks to identify the conditions enabling the settlement enterprise to continue, focusing on the central role of the Israeli state.
The argument is that the settlements are a vivid example of the major gap that exists between international diplomacy and declaratory politics and the struggle over territory within the Israel-Palestine complex. The enterprise is one of the most emblematic examples of the (clashing) narratives of the conflict and actual claims to territory bypassing the international consensus.