Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Rory McCarthy: How settlements in the West Bank are creating a new reality, brick by brick

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 24, 2009

In March 1975 there was no Ma’ale Adumim. After Israel captured and occupied the West Bank in the 1967 war the site was earmarked as a an industrial park. A group of activist settlers from the Gush Emunim — the Bloc of the Faithful — arrived one morning and built a water tower and simple concrete hut. They were removed that day by soldiers, but in December that year the first settler families moved in for good. The city then grew exponentially.

The site is a compelling example of how infrastructure is used to extend Israel’s reach around and well beyond the settlement. Ma’ale Adumim’s buildings seem to cover one main hilltop, but the municipal area of the settlement is nearly 20 square miles, the size of Tel Aviv. Then there are the Israeli-built roads connecting Ma’ale Adumim with nearby smaller, satellite settlements, as well as a major highway running further east past Jericho and cutting across the West Bank until it reaches the Jordanian border. Israel is now building its steel and concrete West Bank barrier around Ma’ale Adumim and the other smaller settlements, effectively incorporating them on the “Israeli” side and by doing so taking another 24 square miles of the West Bank.

For full article, visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/24/west-bank-settlements-israel

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