The first Jewish settlers arrived in the 1920s. Four communities were established by the 1940s but they were destroyed in the war of 1948 over the creation of Israel. Jordanian forces killed scores of Jews who tried to defend the area and took scores more captive.
After Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war, a group of Israelis, including some descendants of those who had fought to defend it in 1948, reestablished Jewish settlements there.
The Palestinians and much of the world consider all settlements in the territories seized in 1967 as illegal and an obstacle to establishing a Palestinian state. While most peace plans envisage exchanges of land that could leave at least part of Gush Etzion under Israeli sovereignty, Israelis and Palestinians have never agreed on the size of the block.”
- The 1922 League of Nations Mandate specifically gave Jews the right to live and establish themselves THROUGHOUT the Holy Land. This was a matter of international law and the Jews availed themselves of this legal right. In 1922, there was no concept of a “West Bank.” It was all just “Palestine” and Jews legally purchased land and built homes in Gush Etzion. As stated in Article 6, the Mandate “shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” Further, Article 15 of the Mandate specifically stated that no part of Palestine should be off-limits to people based on their religion: “No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.”
- When Jordan illegally attacked Israel in 1949 and killed the Jews in Gush Etzion, it did not undermine the legal rights Jews had for living in their homes.
- Jordan’s illegal expulsion of all of the Jews from the region in 1949 counter to the fourth Geneva Convention was not mentioned by the Times.
- The fact that Jordan illegally annexed the region in 1950 in an action that was never recognized by any country was also omitted.
- Jordan (and Palestinians who had been granted Jordanian citizenship) attacked Israel in 1967, counter the Israel-Jordan Armistice agreement, and Israel was legally justified in responding in self-defense.
- Jordan gave up all claim to the region in 1988.
Related First.One.Through articles: