The continuous establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip territories has obtained much publicity because such actions are widely recognized as a major stumbling block to a lasting peace settlement in the Middle East. These settlements represent part of an organized and continuing Israeli policy to incorporate the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas into Israel. This policy makes full use of the ideas and experience of regional settlement planning that have been developed by the Zionist movement from the very earliest days of settlement in Palestine, and which are an integral part of the current administration of the State of Israel. The aim of the present study will be to discuss the major regional planning concepts and guidelines which seem to influence this policy, and to analyse the impact which their implementation is having on the West Bank.
Abdul-Ilah Abu Ayyash is Associate Professor of Geography at Kuwait University. For reasons of space, this article has been slightly shortened.