Renegade Jewish Settlers
vice | July 2, 2012
Jewish settlers in Palestine: the most notorious squatters in the world.
Israeli settlers have been slowly nibbling away at Palestine’s West Bank territory for four decades. 300,000 setllers now occupy outposts that range in size from plywood shacks to full-blown suburban housing complexes. Their abundance has grounded the much-ballyhooed two-state solution to a halt. VICE correspondent Simon Ostrovsky travels from Tel Aviv to the remote West Bank outposts where young Israelis squat for the sake of their heritage. But first, Simon pops in for some quick counter-terrorism training with a member of Israel’s Special Forces, just in case.
Israeli settlers justify their expansion into the West Bank by digging up ancient artifacts that supposedly prove that they’ve occupied that patch of land for longer than the Palestinians. The twist is that the settlers have the Palestinians do the actual digging under the “supervision” of the Israeli army. Simon stumbles upon one of these infamous archaeological digs and finds that the Israelis are less than eager for their operation to be caught on camera.
Meet Simcha and Yosef, a pair of teenage settlers at the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank doing what Israeli settlers do best: building and re-building houses without a permit.
Simon gets mixed up in the West Bank Land Day protests, where Palestinians annually clash with the Israeli army.
Simon travels to Asira al-Qibliya, a Palestinian town that is learning how to defend itself against attacks from the Israeli settlers one hill away.
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