“Settlements” vs. “Neighbourhoods”

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As with a number of terms listed in this glossary, the term settlement is technically true, in that any place where people live is a settlement, but it gives a truly distorted version of reality. The vast majority of Israeli settlements are in fact neighbourhoods which are natural extensions, suburbs really, of Israeli communities within Israel proper. They are not, as the term settlement may suggest, isolated outposts. It is virtually guaranteed that these blocs would remain under Israeli control in any future peace agreement, in part because they are so utterly part of Israel’s contiguity, and not outposts in the desert, as the term settlement could misleadingly indicate. Accordingly, this context matters.

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