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Israeli settlement timeline

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Title: Israeli settlement timeline  
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Israeli settlement timeline

Settler population by year in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights 1972-2007 [1][2]

This is a timeline of the development of and controversy over Israeli settlements.


  • 1967 1
  • 1972 2
  • 1975 3
  • 1977 4
  • 1978 5
  • 1979 6
  • 1980 7
  • 1981 8
  • 1983 9
  • 1985 10
  • 1989 11
  • 1990 12
  • 1991 13
  • 1992 14
  • 1993 15
  • 1994 16
  • 1995 17
  • 1996 18
  • 1997 19
  • 1998 20
  • 1999 21
  • 2000 22
  • 2001 23
  • 2002 24
  • 2003 25
  • 2004 26
  • 2005 27
  • 2006 28
  • 2007 29
  • 2008 30
  • 2009 31
  • 2010 32
  • 2011 33
  • Notes 34


  • The municipal borders of Jerusalem are extended to include all of the Old City as well as other areas. Residents within the new municipal borders are offered the choice between citizenship (subject to a few restrictions) and permanent residency (if they wished to retain their Jordanian passports). This annexation has never been recognized by any other country.
  • The Sinai, Gaza Strip, and West Bank are put under Israeli military occupation. Residents are not offered citizenship or residency, though they typically have de facto work permits within Israel and freedom of travel there.





  • Israel forcibly evacuates its citizens from the Sinai and demolishes their homes as the area is returned to Egypt pursuant to the Camp David Accords. The last Israeli community in the area, Yamit, is evacuated by early 1982.




  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 446 is passed. The resolution states that it "Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East". The resolution is passed 12 votes to 0 with 3 abstentions. This is the first of many such UN resolutions against the Israeli settlements.[3]


  • The Knesset asserted Jerusalem's status as the nation's "eternal and indivisible capital" by passing the Jerusalem Law.
  • The UN declares the Jerusalem Law "null and void", and the Security Council in resolution 465 ordered Israel to dismantle the settlements.



  • Israel extends its law to the Golan Heights, passing the Golan Heights Law, which grants permanent residency, ID cards, and Israeli citizenship to the residents, but does not formally annex the territory.




















  • Israel and the Palestinians agree to the Road map for peace plan, in which Israel undertakes to freeze settlement building in all the occupied territories to accompany unconditional cessation of violence by the Palestinians.[5][6]


  • The Israeli Government and Parliament approve the evacuation of the Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip and four settlements from northern Samaria." Nurit Kliot, "Resettlement of Refugees in Finland and Cyprus: A Comparative Analysis and Possible Lessons for Israel", in Arie Marcelo Kacowicz, Pawel Lutomski. Population Resettlement in International Conflicts: A Comparative Study, Lexington Books, 2007, p. 57.



  • The Sasson report finds that that Israeli state bodies have been discreetly diverting millions of shekels to build West Bank settlements and outposts that were illegal under Israeli law. The report exposes the existence of at least 150 such illegal outposts that lack proper government authorization.
  • The Israeli government confirms plans to increase the size of the Maale Adumim settlement, in the West Bank near Jerusalem, by 3,500 homes. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticizes the move, saying "[This] sabotages all efforts seeking to get the peace process back on track," and "The Israeli government wants to determine Jerusalem's fate by presenting the settlements and wall as a fait accompli.".[7]





  • Annapolis Conference is held. Palestinians demand settlement freeze as precondition for talks however Israel stands by plan to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.[10]


  • Israel decides to build 300 more Israeli homes in the Har Homa neighborhood of East Jerusalem, near Bethlehem. The move is condemned by the United States and the European Union.[11]



  • The Jerusalem municipality announces plans to build 600 new housing units in East Jerusalem. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice states in response that settlement expansion should stop and was inconsistent with 'road map' obligations.[12]






  • US President Barack Obama makes his famous Cairo speech in which he says "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements".[14]
  • Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorizes the construction of 300 new homes in West Bank settlements.[15]


  • US President Barack Obama demands a complete freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Israeli government agrees to a freeze in the West Bank. Peace Now argues that Israel is attempting to fool the United States.[16] On 25 August 2009 Netanyahu says that he will attempt to gain an agreement with the U.S. to continue building settlements before attempting to talk with the Palestinians.[17] On 28 August 2009 US officials said they would not impose conditions on the parties, but that it would be up to the parties themselves to determine if the threshold for talks had been met.[18] Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar defended the freeze as an attempt to "protect the vital interests - Jerusalem and the relationship with the United States - and to avoid national isolation, because we won't be able to do the things close to our hearts while under international isolation."[19]


  • Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called Israel's proposal to temporarily halt settlement construction in exchange for improved relations with Arab countries "Dangerous", as he viewed it as an attempt to avoid US demands. The Hamas leader's opposition to the Israeli proposal was supported by Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.[20]


  • The United States government voices their dismay at the approved by the Israel's interior ministry of 900 additional housing units at a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. A White House spokesman says the move makes it "more difficult" to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Settlements on occupied territory are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this and consider Gilo, the planned settlement area "an integral part of Jerusalem".[21]


  • The Israeli government orders a 10-month lull in permits for new settlement homes in the West Bank.[22] The restrictions, which Israeli politicians and media have referred to as a "freeze",[22] do not apply to East Jerusalem (whose de facto annexation by Israel is not recognised internationally), municipal buildings, schools, synagogues and other community infrastructure in the settlements.[22][23] About 3,000 homes already under construction will be allowed to proceed.[22] The Israeli government said the move was aimed at restarting peace talks, but Palestinian officials said it was insufficient.[22] Palestinian officials have refused to rejoin peace talks until a total building halt is imposed, including in East Jerusalem.[22] The announcement followed calls by the US government for a total freeze in settlement building.[22] The US government, the European Union, Russia and the UN have criticized Israel's plans to continue building in East Jerusalem[24] but both the US and the EU have stated that there should be no preconditions for resuming the suspended peace talks related to Israel's Road Map requirement to freeze settlements.[25][26] although Palestinian participants would have to give prior acceptance of Israel's claim to statehood and refrain from violence.[27]



  • Israel announces plans to construct 1600 settler homes in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem during United States Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region. Biden condemns the decision saying "The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need . . . and runs counter to the constructive discussions I've had in Israel." [28]
  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated "The world has condemned Israel's expansion plans in East Jerusalem. Let us be clear: all settlement activity is illegal anywhere in occupied territory, and this must stop." He spoke both for the United Nations and the Middle East Quartet.[29]
  • The mayor of Jerusalem unveiled a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to make way for a public park and tourist site.[30]



  • The U.S. vetoes a draft resolution to condemn all Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as illegal.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah "Israeli Settler Population 1972-2006".  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Population by year in West Bank settlements".  
  3. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 446,  
  4. ^ Nunez, Sandy. "Warring Communities Separated By Wall".  
  5. ^ The roadmap, Full text, BBC News 30-04-2003
  6. ^ Urquhart, Conal (2004-08-06). "Israel flouts road map with new settlement". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  7. ^ "Israel confirms settlement growth".  
  8. ^
    • John Ashley Soames Grenville (2005). A History of the World from the 20th to the 21st Century. Routledge. p. 937.  
    • "What next for Gaza and West Bank?". BBC. 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2010-01-05. Most Israelis support the pullout, but some feel the government has given in to Palestinian militant groups, and worry that further withdrawals will follow. Palestinian critics point out that Gaza will remain under Israeli control, and that they are being denied a political say in the disengagement process. 
    • Yearbook of the United Nations 2005. United Nations Publications. 2007. p. 514.  
    • Yael Yishai (1987). Land Or Peace. Hoover Press. p. 58.  
  9. ^
    • "Instead, he chose total disengagement from Gaza and the dismantlement of four settlements in northern Samaria." Zvi Shtauber, Yiftah Shapir. The Middle East Strategic Balance 2005-2006, Sussex Academic Press, 2007, p. 123.
    • "Prior to forming his new coalition with the Labor Party, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon strong-armed members of his Likud cabinet to support Labor's idea of unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and four settlements in northern Samaria." Getz, Leonard. "Likudniks Against Sharon: Rebels or Loyalists?", The Jewish Exponent, 01-13-2005.
    • "Understandably so: in the end, the Gaza withdrawal took all of six days while the pullout from four settlements in northern Samaria was accomplished in a single day." Zelnick, Robert. Israel's Unilaterialism: Beyond Gaza, Hoover Press, 2006, p. 157.
    • "The four West Bank settlements that Israel is evacuating are all located in the biblical Land of Israel — territory that observant Jews believe was promised to the Jewish people in the Old Testament. The area of the West Bank, known as northern Samaria, was inhabited by the tribe of Menashe, one of the 10 tribes of Israel that were forced into exile." "Biblical significance of West Bank settlements", International Herald Tribune, August 23, 2005.
    • "Others not only support comprehensive talks but call for abandonment of Israel's plan to disengage from Gaza and four settlements in northern Samaria." Sofaer, Abraham D. "Disengagement First", Hoover Digest 2005 No. 1, Hoover Institution.
    • "In August 2005, Israel vacated the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip--mainly in Gush Katif--as well as four settlements in northern Samaria." Inbari, Motti. "Fundamentalism in crisis - the response of the Gush Emunim rabbinical authorities to the theological dilemmas raised by Israel's Disengagement plan", Journal of Church and State, Autumn, 2007.
    • Tamir, Naftali (August 15, 2005). "Retreat with peace in mind".  
  10. ^ "Palestinian negotiators to urge settlement freeze during talks".  
  11. ^ "EU criticises Israel settler plan".  
  12. ^ "Rice calls for Israel to halt settlement expansion".  
  13. ^ Mitnick, Joshua (2008-11-28). "Israeli court rebukes state over illegal outposts".  
  14. ^ "Remarks by the President on a New Beginning". 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  15. ^ "Barak authorizes construction of 300 new homes in West Bank".  
  16. ^ Report Slams Israeli Claim of Settlement Freeze
  17. ^ Israeli PM Says Settlement Building to Continue During Peace Talks
  18. ^ U.S.: We will be flexible on conditions for Mideast talks
  19. ^ Sa'ar: Netanyahu saving Israel from global isolation
  20. ^ Hamas Leader says Israeli Settlement Proposal "Dangerous"
  21. ^ US raps Israeli settlement plan BBC News website 2009-11-18 Retrieved 2009-11-18
  22. ^ a b c d e f g "Jewish settlers in West Bank building curb protest". BBC. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  23. ^ "Israeli minister: no real "freeze" on settlement". Reuters. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  24. ^ "Kouchner: Gilo construction won't necessarily hinder peace talks". Ynet. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  25. ^ "Netanyahu questions Abbas's commitment to peace". Reuters. 2009-11-29. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  26. ^ Schneider, Howard (2009-12-09). "E.U. moderates stance on Jerusalem". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  27. ^ "Fatah-Hamas unity government: Israel condemns move". BBC News. 2012-02-07. 
  28. ^ Lyons, John (2010-03-11). "US condemns Israeli plan".  
  29. ^ "UN chief Ban Ki-moon demands Israel settlements halt".  
  30. ^ McCarthy, Rory (2010-03-02). "Jerusalem mayor unveils demolition plan". London:  
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