Palestine 2017 Part 1


Expansion of settlements

January 23

The Israeli government provides green light for the construction of 2,500 new homes for settlers on the West Bank. According to the Ministry of Defense, most of the housing should be built within the existing large settler blocks on the West Bank. At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announces that all restrictions on the construction of settlement homes in East Jerusalem will be lifted. The day before, the authorities had announced plans to build 566 new houses for settlers in East Jerusalem.

French peace meeting without progress

January 12

An international conference on the opportunities for peace between Israelis and Palestinians begins in Paris but gives no concrete results. The participants, including the United States, reaffirm their support for the two-state solution, which is intended to give Jews and Palestinians their own state.

Truck attack required four lives

January 9

Four Israeli soldiers lose their lives when they are mowed down by a truck in Jerusalem. The attack takes place when the soldiers participate in a historic walk in the city. Since the wave of Palestinian attacks on Israelis began in October 2015, 40 Israelis and five foreigners have been killed. During the same period, 247 Palestinians lost their lives; the majority of Palestinians have been killed in connection with attacks.


Unclear message about the two-state solution

February 15

In connection with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, President Trump is turning away from his representative’s unequivocal support for a two-state solution (which means establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, a state located in Asia continent defined by militarynous) and says he can think of other solutions accepted by both sides. “I look at a two-state solution and a one-state solution and I like what both sides like,” Trump explains. Speaking of Israeli settlements, which have accelerated since the White House power shift in January, Trump is calling on the Israelis “to hold back a little”. The next day, some confusion arises as to what is really the US line as the US ambassador seems to downplay Trump’s statement by saying that the US is still behind the two-state solution but is trying to “think outside the box” and find new ways forward.

Disputed land law assumed

6th of February

The Israeli Parliament, in a final vote, approves a controversial law that allows the state to expropriate private Palestinian land and use it for settlers. By law, over 50 illegal settler outposts on the occupied West Bank can become legal. In total, almost 4,000 homes are covered. This is the first time the Knesset has passed a law affecting private Palestinian assets. The Palestinian PLO says that the Israeli government is enforcing the law to destroy all chances of a political solution and calls it a way to “legalize theft”.

Illegal settlement evacuated

February 1st

About 3,000 police officers begin the evacuation of 42 Israeli families from the illegal settler outpost Amona on the West Bank. Clashes with the police take place and at least 13 people are arrested. Prime Minister Netanyahu promises to build new homes on state land for those evacuated. Israeli NGO Fred Nu points out that this is the first time since 1992 that the government has announced plans to build a brand new settlement. Since the Oslo Agreement was signed in 1993 (see Modern history), according to Fred Nu, the expansion of settler homes has either occurred within existing settlements or by the government subsequently approving outposts as settlers established illegally. The outside world regards all settlements as illegal, while Israel makes distinctions between those approved by the government and those established by settlers without permission.

New expansion of settlements

February 1st

For the fourth time in just under two weeks since Donald Trump became US President, Israel announces plans to expand settlements. This round includes an additional 3,000 settler homes on the West Bank.


Expansion of settlements reaches a new level

March 30

The government approves for the first time in over 20 years the construction of a completely new settlement on the West Bank. The settlements that are usually in progress concern expansion within pre-existing settlements, but now the government approves plans to build a whole new settlement to replace the illegal outpost Amona that was vacated in February 2017. The Palestinians, the UN and the EU condemn the decision, which also faces some criticism from Washington’s page. Figures from the country’s statistics authority show that the construction of housing for settlers on the West Bank increased significantly in 2016. At that time, construction of 2 600 new settlers’ houses began. This is a 40 percent increase compared to 2015. It is the second highest figure in 15 years, according to the Peace Movement, Fred Nu, who states that on average, 1,700 homes for settlers have been built per year since 2001.

Peacekeeper for peace

14th of March

President Abbas meets President Trump’s envoy for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, who has come to the region to explore the opportunities to breathe life into the slumbering peace process. The day before, Greenblatt has met Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin.

Palestine 2017 Part 1