Facts on the ground: Israel’s Jewish settlements

AFP | Dec 18, 2012 | 22:05 Updated: Dec 18, 2012 JORDAN TIMES

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Key dates in the conflict over Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories seized by Israel in the June 1967 war:

— June 1967: Arab-Israeli war in which Israel seizes East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Work begins on the first Jewish settlement: Kfar Etzion, south of Jerusalem.

— July 1980: The Israeli parliament decrees that the whole of Jerusalem is the nation’s undivided capital, a move that has never been formally recognised by other countries.

— December 1987: Start of a first Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, against Israeli rule in the Occupied Territories. It ends in 1993.

— September 1993: After months of secret talks in Oslo, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation sign accords aimed at leading to Palestinian autonomy. Israel agrees to restrict settlement building.

— August 1996: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eases restrictions on settlement building.

— November 1998: Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon encourages Jewish settlers to “grab more hills” in the West Bank.

— September 2000: Start of a second Palestinian uprising.

— March 2001: Sharon becomes prime minister, and encourages further settlement in the West Bank.

— June 2002: Israel begins building a barrier separating East Jerusalem and the larger settlement blocs from the rest of the West Bank.

— August-September 2005: Israel unilaterally withdraws all its 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip.

— November 2009: Netanyahu, again prime minister, announces a partial 10-month moratorium on construction in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem.

— March 2010: Israel approves the building of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem.

— September 2010: Netanyahu’s West Bank moratorium expires, and is not renewed. The start of new settlement building in the West Bank brings to an end new direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

— January 2011: Israel demolishes a key hotel in East Jerusalem to make way for settlements. The Palestinian authority says the “peace process” is dead.

— November 2011: After the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation admits the Palestinians as a member, Netanyahu speeds up the building of settlements in East Jerusalem.

— April 2012: Israel legalises three wildcat settlements created in the 1990s.

— November 30, 2012: Israel reacts with fury as the Palestinians are given upgraded status at the United Nations in New York. The following day Netanyahu announces a major new settlement building plan in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The new plan would cut the Palestinian-controlled parts of the West Bank in two.

— December 18: Israel planning committees were due to start approving the new plans, for almost 5,000 housing units.


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