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Jewish settlers in the West Bank
Palestinian sources said there were 400,000 in the West Bank. Alex Inkeles countered: "It surely is more like 40 thousand". Ed Jajko, who has researched the subject, says "With all respect to Alex Inkeles, if the figure were only 40,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank the absurdity, obscenity, and utter insanity of the present state of things in the Levant would only be all the greater. The Israeli organization Shalom 'Akhshav -- Peace Now -- gives an estimate of 200,000. See its web pages at http://www.peacenow.org.il and the report "Facts on the ground since the Oslo Agreements." The Foundation for Middle East Peace, a US organization with a board of academics and former diplomats, gives a figure of 400,000. See the following, from Le Monde Diplomatique, at http://mondediplo.com:
The Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace estimates the number of Jewish settlers in the 200 settlements established on Palestinian territory as 400,000. The breakdown is as follows:
- West Bank: 200,000 settlers. Most of the settlements are in Area C (exclusive Israeli control) which, at the time the Sharm el-Sheikh memorandum was signed in September 1999, comprised 72% of the West Bank. The Israeli government undertook to reduce this percentage to 59% by January 2000.
- Gaza : 6,500 settlers
- East Jerusalem : 180,000 settlers. One third of the area of East Jerusalem has been expropriated for this purpose.
- Golan : 17,000 settlers control 80% of the Heights.<
See the FMEP report "Israeli settlements in the occupied territories," which names the members of its board in the masthead. The web site is http://www.fmep.org/. If the Palestinian or pro-Palestinian figures are "inflated" perhaps the Israeli or pro-Israeli figures are "deflated." Hebron is one place where Alex's proportions may be right. In Hebron, some 450 religious settlers are protected by a large Israeli military presence that has the area immediately surrounding the Israeli settlers under permanent martial law and the rest of the city under various restrictions".
Ronald Hilton - 4/6/02