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Palestinian Center for Human Rights
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To read the relevant Articles in international humanitarian law applying to the illegality of an occupying power settling occupied land, click here.


  • The Israelis has established approximately 200 settlements[2] in the OPT housing 208,015 settlers exclusive some 200,000 settlers in occupied East Jerusalem (June 2001-numbers)[3].

  • Israeli settlers constitute 9-10% of the total West Bank population and only 0,6% of the Gaza population.

  • In Gaza the Israelis have established 19 settlements, most of them concentrated in the Gush Katif bloc in the southern part of Gaza. Approximately 6.900 settlers are living in Gaza.

  • The Gazan settlements, the military spots surrounding them, the by pass roads and the Israeli controlled border zones and the "yellow areas" (areas where Palestinians live under Israeli control) take up 42% of the Gaza strip.

  • For every 4 settlers in Gaza there are approximately 3 Israeli soldiers, according to information from the settlers. Every isolated Gazan settlement (settlements not part of the enclosed Gush Katif settlement bloc) requires a battalion, which means there are more soldiers than settlers[4].

  • By Sept. 2001 at least 33 Palestinians had been killed by settlers since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada a year earlier[5].

  • Israel has constructed 340.8 km of bypass roads linking settlements to each other and to Israel. These roads disrupt Palestinian territorial contiguity and divide the West Bank and Gaza strip into dozens of isolated pieces. The roads incl. 50-75 m buffer zones take up more than 50 km2 Palestinian land.

  • For each 100 km road, some 10,000 dunums/2,500 acres of land is confiscated.

  • Besides the high security costs, Israeli government expenditure includes low purchase prices, mortgage grants (up to 95% of the cost), Priority "A" categorization (for state-subsidized benefits and incentives such as tax breaks, free schooling and school busing, and business grants). The 2001 budget foresaw a 7%-income tax break for settlers.


[Last updated 28 June 2002]



[2] Figures regarding the number of settlements and outposts in the OPT very from 145-282 according to source.

[3] Figures regarding settler population vary according to source. We use the Israeli Interior Ministry, Aug. 2001.

[4] “Shorten the lines” by Ze’ev Schiff, Ha’aretz Daily, 13/6/2002.

[5] PCHR data.


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