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  • This is me driving in what I think is one of the most bizarre places in the world.

  • I just crossed over from Israel into the West Bank.

  • If you look at a map of where I am right now, you will see a jumbled mess of of Palestinian

  • towns shown here in green, and Israeli settlements, which are blue.

  • Many people think of this territory as Palestine.

  • But of the 3 million people living out here, almost twenty percent of them are Jewish Israeli citizens.

  • The Israelis living out here are called settlers.

  • They live in the West Bank but are citizens of Israel.

  • As I drive I'm looking at effectively two different nations, woven into each other through

  • decades of conflict, I visited 15 settlements all over the West

  • Bank, talking to the people who have decided to pack up and move to middle of this disputed land.

  • We'll meet them in coming videos.

  • But first let's look at the maps that explain how the West Bank got to looking like this.

  • So let's first go back to 1948, when the map looks a lot different.

  • Back then, all this land was controlled by Great Britain.

  • Due to growing tension between Jews and Arabs, the UN worked with the Britain to split the

  • land into two states, one for Jews, Israel, and one for Arabs, Palestine.

  • The Jews accepted the plan and declared independence.

  • But the Arab states in the region saw this plan as just more European colonialism.

  • They didn't accept the plan and declared war with Israel.

  • Israel won the war, pushing well past the borders of the UN plan.

  • During the peace negotiations, a ceasefire line was drawn in green ink.

  • It became known as the green line.

  • It wasn't a border, just a ceasefire line with this being the state of Israel, and this

  • section being controlled by Jordan, who had taken control of it during the war they just fought.

  • The Jordanians named this newly-seized land the West Bank because it was West of the Jordan River.

  • The fragile ceasefire remained until 1967 when Israel fought another war with its Arab neighbors.

  • Israel wasn't looking to take over land in the war, but In just six days of fighting,

  • it blew past the Green Line and seized a whole swath of land, including the entire West Bank.

  • Suddenly Israel had a decision to make: do they make the West Bank a part of Israel and

  • give the 1.1 million Arabs living there Israeli citizenship and voting rights?

  • Do they give back the land to their enemy Jordan or else let the people create their

  • own Palestinian state?

  • This became a major debate in Israeli politics.

  • Many Israelis saw this war they just won not only as a military victory but a religious

  • sign that the Jews were meant to return to the the place where a huge amount of Jewish

  • ancient history happened, the hills of ancient Judea and Samaria, which was basically the

  • entire West Bank.

  • So while the government was debating what to do, Israeli civilians began moving into

  • the West Bank without any permission from the government.

  • They just starting setting up homes, establishing a Jewish presence in this region.

  • Suddenly, any debate about what to do with the West Bank had to take this growing number

  • of Israeli civilians into consideration.

  • This is how the the settler movement was born.

  • The rest of the world did not approve of this.

  • As the settler presence grew, the UN issued a resolution saying that the settlements had

  • “...no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive,

  • just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

  • Two different narratives emerged here: One said Jewish civilians were moving onto mostly

  • empty plots of land that they had captured in a war and that had deep historical and

  • spiritual significance to them.

  • The other side, which is the side most of the world took, said that these settlers were

  • colonizing land to expand their nation.

  • The settler project was widely seen as apart of an illegal occupation of the West Bank.

  • In spite of international condemnation, the number of settlers grew quickly.

  • Over the next few decades, more and more factions of the Israeli government began to support

  • the settler movement, allocating public resources and granting permits for building.

  • The Israeli housing ministry and military began developing plans for how to build up

  • the West Bank.

  • They built roads throughout the entire region, allowing for easy access between settlements

  • and mainland Israel.

  • More and more building permits were given out and new planned communities began popping

  • up all over the West Bank.

  • The settlements slowly shifted from a fringe group of motivated civilians to an institutionalized

  • part of Israeli society, totally supported by the state.

  • Here are the Palestinian towns in the West Bank.

  • As settler activity surged in the 80s and 90s, watch how the settlements weave around

  • these towns.

  • Palestinians didn't like this encroachment.

  • They began protesting, sometimes with extreme violence.

  • Between the violence and the condemnation from the international community of the settlements,

  • the situation became unsustainable.

  • So in the mid 90s American president Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,

  • and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords, agreements that established

  • Palestinian government and split the West Bank into 3 sections.

  • Area A gave Palestinians total control over security and government.

  • This makes up about 18% of the West Bank but most of the palestinian population centers.

  • This gave the Palestinian government self rule for the first time.

  • Area B was designated for Palestinian government control while retaining Israeli security control,

  • meaning the Israeli military remains very present.

  • Area B is about 22% of the West Bank.

  • Area C Remained completely under Israeli military and government control.

  • This is where all the settlements are.

  • It is about 60% of the West Bank.

  • So this is how we ended up with this mess of a map.

  • Israelis can easily come and go to mainland Israel through really nice roads that go straight

  • to settlements.

  • They call theseflyoversbecause they bypass Palestinian villages and give easy

  • access from one settlement to another, although not every settlement has a flyover road like this.

  • Palestinians can drive on almost all roads in the West Bank but their movement it often

  • more difficult, having to stop at checkpoints or have their car inspected by a soldier.

  • But perhaps the biggest difficulty faced by palestinians is how restricted their economy

  • is due to this carved up land.

  • Area C contains the majority of the West Banks agricultural land, as well as water and mineral resources.

  • Palestinians companies are severely restricted in accessing these resources which takes a

  • huge hit on their economy.

  • So with these three sections agreed upon by both sides, the settlements continued to grow

  • within Area C. But in 2005 something happened that would ignite even more passion for the

  • settler movement., Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to remove 8,500 settlers

  • from the Gaza strip, another disputed area.

  • Seeing Israelis being evicted, their homes demolished, left a huge mark on the country,

  • especially the settlers.

  • They immediately redoubled their efforts to settle the West Bank.

  • The numbers continued to grow.

  • Most people who think about resolution to this conflict propose a two state solution,

  • meaning giving the Palestinians a state somewhere in the West Bank region.

  • But if you look at this map you can see what it's getting harder and harder to do that.

  • The settlers living in Area C of the West Bank are not living in tents or Caravans.

  • They are living in developed communities with schools, hospitals and even a university.

  • In the next video I will go inside the settlements and talk to the people living there.

This is me driving in what I think is one of the most bizarre places in the world.

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Israeli settlements, explained | Settlements Part I

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    joey joey に公開 2021 年 05 月 24 日
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