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Settlements in the West Bank

After the 1967 Arab Israeli War, Israel conquered all of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel maintains a number of settlements in the West Bank. Currently about 435,000[1] Israelis live in West Bank. The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into three areas: Area A is under full Palestinian civilian and security control, Area B is under Palestinian civil control but remains secured by the Israeli Military, Area C is under Israeli Civil Law and Military Control. It is the location of all settlements and the entirety of Israel’s authorized population in the West Bank.


While Israeli law provides subsidies and support to settlements, the international community does not recognize the legitimacy of settlements in “Occupied Territories.”  Some of the largest settlements, that many call the “consensus settlements” are Ma’ale Adumim with a population of 49,000, Modiin Illit with 79,000, Ariel with 60,000, Gush Etzion with 32,000, and Givat Ze’ev, with 32,000 Israelis.[2] The settlements are linked by a vast road network that makes traveling the West Bank easy for settlers, but much more difficult for Palestinians.




The Israeli Intelligence Community


Israeli Intelligence is made up of three organizations Aman (military intelligence), Shin Bet (internal security), and Mossad (overseas intelligence). Aman provides signals intelligence, as well as naval and air information for the IDF. Shin Bet provides internal Israeli security, including monitoring Arab Affairs, and protecting high value individuals from attack.


Mossad is the most high profile of the Israeli Intelligence Agencies as it operates around the world and is known for a number of high-risk operations and foreign successes. One of the most valuable assets of Mossad is it can act unilaterally, regardless of any Israeli Laws, under direct orders of the Prime Minister.


Four of its most famous operations are: the embedding of Eli Cohen deep in the Syrian Government, Operation Entebbe, in which they freed hostages from Uganda after a Palestinian airline hijacking, Operation Moses, in which Mossad helped to evacuate thousands of Ethiopian Jews, and the kidnapping and extradition of Adolf Eichmann, a war criminal. Recently they have been involved with countering the Iranian threat, including breaking into a classified facility and stealing crucial documents regarding their nuclear weapons program.

The Israel Defence Forces


The Israel Defense Forces is one of the most highly trained militaries in the world. They serve to defend the existence, and sovereignty of the state of Israel. The IDF has mandatory conscription for both men and women at age 18, with men serving two years and eight months and women serving two years. Israel has over 170,000 active duty personnel, and over 400,000 reservists. [1]


The Israeli Air Force is one of the most sophisticated in the world, and has been the first to use the state of the art F-35 in combat. It is supplied mostly by the United States and their substantial military aid.


The Israeli Navy has complete control over the Israeli coastline, as well as dominance over Gaza, and the Gulf of Aqaba. It includes a number of Corvettes, Missile Boats, and Submarines.


In addition to their offensive capabilities, Israel can defend itself from a number of external threats. Their Iron Dome system prevents short-range rockets and mortars from hitting Israeli cities, Arrow rockets and David’s Sling can prevent medium and long range ballistic missiles.[2] Israel is also rumored to have nuclear capabilities, but this has not been confirmed.




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