The West Bank
A larger area of land between Israel, Jordan and the Dead Sea. As we can see from the map below, the West Bank has shrunk into small pockets of Palestinian territory. Israeli control of the West Bank is maintained through stealing fertile land and hill-top areas and placing Israeli settlements there. Settlers receive government assistance for living in these heavily guarded, walled villages.
The past 40 years have seen the establishment of over 200 illegal Israeli settlements, housing nearly 500,000 settlers. The apartheid wall in the West Bank, construction of which was started in 2002, cuts deep into Palestinian land and, along with the “settler only” roads, cuts off many communities from water supplies, hospitals and their agricultural land. The residents face severe travel restrictions and for many it is impossible to enter Jerusalem or to travel abroad.
Other armed settlers chose to steal the houses of Palestinians in the occupied territories and have the full support of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF – The Israeli armed forces) who will help to defend the settlers against possible attacks from the rightful owners of the houses/land. The theft of houses and property has been happening since the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948 and continues today.
The West Bank is administered by Fatah, the political party that lost the 2006 elections, but which have been armed by the US and are recognized by the west as the rightful leaders of Palestine. This is largely because they facilitate the Israeli occupation. Western powers refuse to deal with the party which was democratically elected to power in Palestine.