What is it like to live in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank?
Since the 1967 Six-Day, Israel has been building Jewish civilian communities on the land that was captured from during the war. Now, there are 300,000 Israelis who occupy settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights. In spite of the Oslo Accords, which barred both Israelis and Palestinians from taking unilateral actions to alter the status quo, settlements continue to expand in the West Bank. These settlements are considered to be in violation of international law (the Fourth Geneva Convention) because they are located in occupied territory.
Israel disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that are used to declare the settlements illegal.
While settlements frequently receive attention in the abstract when discussion of the peace process arises, very little is known about the settlers or settlements themselves: What does a settlement actually look like? Who are the settlers and why are they living in the West Bank? What are they hoping for?
VICE correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled from Tel Aviv to the remote West Bank outposts to answer these very questions. He met the young Israelis who live as settlers in the West Bank, and investigated a day in the life of a Jewish settler. He begins his trip by taking a counter-terrorism training for settlers (he reveals that while it's easy for Jewish settlers to get a gun license, Palestians are banned from doing so).
He also encounters a very tense archaeological dig supervised by Israeli Defense Forces, and catches up with the annual Palestinian Land Day protests.
Watch the film below and weigh in: Simon is available for a Q&A. Ask him your questions in the comments below and he'll respond to your reactions.