Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

19 Sep, 2015

About 600,000 Illegal Jewish Settlers Live in West Bank, Half of Them in Jerusalem

RAMALLAH, September 17, 2015 (WAFA) – About 600,000 settlers live in the West Bank and half of them are in Jerusalem district, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in a press release on Thursday.

PCBS presented data detailing the distribution of settlements across West Bank districts, and the total number of settlers in Jerusalem and West Bank from 2009 to 2014.

According to PCBS, there were a total of 150 settlements in the West Bank at the end of 2014. The majority are located in Jerusalem district, including 26 settlements; 16 are established on land annexed by Israel and 10 others are established in West Jerusalem.

With regards to the distribution of settlements across West Bank districts, data indicates that there are 26 Jewish-only settlements in Jerusalem district, 26 in Ramallah and al-Bireh districts, 20 in Hebron, and 17 in Jericho and the Jordan Valley districts.

Date also indicated that there are 13 settlements in Bethlehem district, 13 in Salfit, 12 in Nablus, eight in Qalqiliya, seven in Tubas, five in Jenin and three others in Tulkarem district.

With regards to the growing numbers of settlers, PCBS data indicate that in East Jerusalem the number of settlers jumped from 192,768 in 2009 to 210,420 in 2014 and in the West Bank it jumped from 506,869 in 2009 to 599,901 in 2014.

Data also showed that a total of 286,997 settlers, accounting for 47.8% of all settlers in the West Bank, are concentrated in Jerusalem district, including 210,420 settlers in East Jerusalem.

It said that a total of 120,417 settlers are in Ramallah and al-Bireh districts, 72,626 settlers are in Bethlehem, and 37,350 are in Salfit. There are also about 35,900 settlers in Qalqiliya district, 18,000 in Hebron, 15,500 in Nablus, 5,800 in Jericho and the Jordan Valley districts, 3,000 in Tulkarem, 2,400 settlers in Jenin, and 1,800 settlers in Tubas.

The settlements are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which establishes that the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

The Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement-related activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are illegal under international law.