Israel’s Massive Colony Expansion

The approval by Netanyahu’s coalition government of thousands of new colonial settlement units in the Occupied West Bank comes in the midst of a nearly week-long wave of  violence that has drawn international condemnation.

“Let us handle them” Israeli settlers spray-painted in Hebrew in 2018 on the wall of a home in the Palestinian village of Jalud, Nablus District in the West Bank. (Salma a-Deb’i, B’Tselem, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)


The Israeli occupation authorities on Monday approved the construction of 5,623 new colonial settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

This move comes in the midst of a nearly week-long wave of Israeli colonial settler violence against Palestinians that has included burning Palestinian villages, beating children, burning Muslim holy books, invading mosques and uprooting Palestinian olive trees.

The wave of West Bank violence [including killings associated with Israeli military’s operation involving advanced military weaponry in the Jenin Refugee Camp] has been condemned by the international community, including representatives of the French and U.S. governments, who called on Israel to halt its settlement expansion — which is illegal under international law. [A U.N. call to end West Bank violence was backed by the U.S. and Russia, AP reports.]

Israel instead ignored the worldwide condemnation and moved to expand colonial settlements in different parts of the West Bank.

The Israeli town of Eli in the Shomron, West Bank, Israel. (Akivapath, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0)

The West Bank and Gaza Strip are the small portions of historic Palestine that remain belonging to the indigenous Palestinian population. They have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, which has meant Israeli control of all land, sea and sky, all marriages and divorces, all births, deaths and other records. Palestinians must go to Israeli military bases to seek permits for hospitalization, travel, work and school.

[Related: THE ANGRY ARAB: ‘The 1967 Defeat’ Industry]

Since 1967, and particularly since the Oslo Accords in 1994, Israel has blatantly expanded its territory by forcibly expelling Palestinians from their land, and then building Jewish-only colonial settlements, moving Jewish Israelis onto the newly-seized lands and building electrified fences and walls to secure the newly-declared colonial settlement.

Monday’s approval covers 4,291 new settlement units which are already in an advanced stage of planning or construction. It also includes submitting 1,332 new building plans for approval.

According to the Israeli media, 1,000 new settlement units, beyond what the occupation government had approved last week, have also been approved. They will be built in the “Eli” settlement built on citizens’ lands south of Nablus.

These will be added to the plans, according to an agreement among the prime minister of the occupation, Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

The plan to expand the “Eli” settlement has been hotly contested by Palestinians, who held a non-violent protest on the hillside where the expansion is being planned for over a year, with many of the protesters brutalized, shot and teargassed by Israeli forces on a nearly daily basis.

This article is from the International Middle East Media Center and republished under a creative commons license.

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12 comments for “Israel’s Massive Colony Expansion

  1. Robert Sinuhe
    June 30, 2023 at 14:30

    I keep several important books in my personal library, among which is “What Price Israel?” by a Jewish author. He catalogs the beginning and the result of the United Nations’ debate on the question of partition or the sharing of the land by the Jews and the Palestinians. The answer: The price is too high as it allows Jews to murder and expropriate land with impunity. The next question that should be posed is how does the world change this situation?

  2. Alice
    June 29, 2023 at 20:04

    And Israel and their U.S. Lobby can do these murderous things to the Palestinians in THEIR ancestoral Homeland?
    Have the Jewish returnees to ‘Israel’ from the horrors of the Holocaust who have realized their decades-long hope for their
    own Jewish State forgotten their still-recent decades-long past in Europe? Now they murder Palestinians as they were
    murdered by their genocide?
    Remember, Americans: Israel accompanies this reprehensible genocide against the Palestines USING AMERICAN TAX

  3. CaseyG
    June 29, 2023 at 15:00

    sigh—-Well first of all, Israel has been killing Palestinians since 1948–which is when NAKBA began for the Palestinians. That’s 75 years of killing and robbing Palestinians of their land and their heritage. Even when Israel murders Americans and—-no one in the American government seems to care. The awful little man Blinken didn’t do anything to help Rachel Corrie’s family, nor did Shirleen’s family get any aid—or even an apology.
    Israel does not care, nor sadly it seems — does America.

    But even more sad,—it does not seem that America and its military even cares about American lives. In the 1960s, the Israelis attacked an American ship and even tried to sink it. What I read about this was that the military refused any of the families who lost their family members in the murderous Israeli assault to speak of this —Israel had no consequences for their actions. I also read that the military forbade any of those surviving Americans to ever discuss it.

    Amazing too was that America did not do much to help Rachel Corrie’s family either. Sadly it would seem that America values Israeli lives over its own citizens. Why is that? Why is it that–Jonathan Pollard who stole the nuclear information for Israel—why did Obama let Pollard out of prison to return to Israel? I do not understand how Israel keeps getting away with murder.

  4. Frank Lambert
    June 28, 2023 at 22:36

    When I point out to people what the Israelis do to the Palestinians and carry out airstrikes elsewhere and all their criminal activities, the “antisemitism” slogan is used on me, I reply, “are you anti-Teutonic? Are you anti-Germanic, huh?” Gotta rile them up a bit.

    Yes, perhaps the Zionist Lobby is the most powerful lobby in the U.S. as all freshman congressmen and congresswomen are told, don’t ever vote against something concerning Israel otherwise you’ll never be re-elected.

    The complacent U.N. condemns Israel for bulldozing Palestinian homes for Jewish only housing (settlements) as a human rights violation and all, but doesn’t impose sanctions on Israel as they have that much power in Europe and of course the United States, with our politicians and MSM cowering to their whims and demands.

    It makes one wonder who the biggest winners of WWII were.

    Almost a quarter of the 21st Century is over and it’s been a violent time for those years. Man hasn’t changed much, in his heart, only the technology and information (knowledge) has. A real tragedy for humanity, as the love for Money and Power is the root of evil deeds.

  5. Lois Gagnon
    June 28, 2023 at 18:36

    I can only imagine the smear campaign that Dr. Cornell West will face if he is the Green Party nominee. He will need a huge number of people supporting his position on Israeli apartheid to prevent a repeat of what was done to Jeremy Corbin. BDS!

  6. Arch Stanton
    June 28, 2023 at 17:27

    Its no coincidence that the zionist lobby across the western world has managed to shut down any debate or criticism
    of their apartheid practices using the antisemitism card. Every western government has been captured, they dare not criticise but I remember it wasn’t alsways like this. Indeed, 25-30yrs yrs ago I regulary read criticism of Israeli state actions in certain newspapers and tv news channels, now there is nothing – zilch.

    Thd world is a sick place right now

    • Charles
      June 28, 2023 at 17:36

      You are exactly right.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 29, 2023 at 11:07

      As has been well documented there are millions of US dollars to Israel for spy and other defense-related activities
      which cannot be done by the US. Israel eagerly does the job and takes its cut for its biggest industry and largest

  7. Stephen Kennedy
    June 28, 2023 at 15:54

    It may draw international condemnation, but it is not going to draw US condemnation, and anyone with a brain knows why.

    • Charles Joseph McCollum
      June 28, 2023 at 17:37

      You are exactly right

    • Arch Stanton
      June 29, 2023 at 03:35

      Yes we know, even here we’re scared to say why (to speak the truth).

  8. Linda Edwards
    June 28, 2023 at 14:27

    Very wrong.

Comments are closed.