Since 1967, Israel has established about 150 settlements (residential and others) in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in addition to some 100 “outposts” erected by settlers without official authorization.
The settler population is estimated at approximately 500,000; its rate of growth during the past decade stood at a yearly average of 5.3% (excluding East Jerusalem), compared to 1.8% by the Israeli population as-a-whole (ICBS).
While fenced or patrolled areas of settlements cover three percent of the West Bank, 43% of the West Bank is off-limits for Palestinian use because of its allocation to the settlement’s local and regional councils.
Virtually all of the land viewed by Israel as public or “state land” (27% of the West Bank) has been allocated to settlements, rather than for the benefit of the local population (B’Tselem).
About one third of the land within the settlements’ outer limits is privately owned by Palestinians, according to official Israeli land records (Peace Now).
Over 60 percent of the Palestinian-owned structures demolished in 2011, due to the lack of permit, were located in areas allocated to settlements.
In 2011, five Palestinians (inc. two children) were killed and over 1,000 injured (of whom nearly a fifth were children) by Israeli settlers or security forces in incidents directly or indirectly related to settlements, including demonstrations.
Over 90% of Israeli police investigations into incidents of settler violence during the past six years (2005-2010) were closed without indictment (Yesh Din).
More than 500 internal checkpoints, roadblocks and other physical obstacles impede Palestinian movement inside the West Bank, including access of children to schools; they exist primarily to protect settlers and facilitate their movement, including to and from Israel.
The location of settlements was the major consideration behind the deviation of the Barrier’s route away from the Green Line; once complete, about 80% of the settler population will live in settlements located on the western (“Israeli”) side of the Barrier.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.