3. The legality of settlements is highly disputed.
According to United Nations resolutions and advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), an arm of the United Nations, the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal as they are thought to be occupied territories, and are therefore inconsistent with international law.
Others argue that settlements are legal because the Mandate of Palestine, created in 1922, made provisions for a state of Israel whose borders included the West Bank. Additionally, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in 1967, does not require Israel to return all of the territories it gained in the Six-Day War. Despite this resolution, Israel has returned an estimated 94 percent of the land it gained in the Six-Day War as part of peace negotiations with her Arab neighbors.
Some members of the international community, such as Canada, France, and Germany, consistent with the UN and ICJ, consider the settlements illegal. The United States released a statement in November, 2019 declaring that the settlements are not inconsistent with international law and are, therefore, legal. The Administration of the United States’ decision to release this statement has resulted in renewed discussion regarding this issue.
Despite the revival of debate over the legality of the settlements, the international community remains divided on the topic, which continues to play a role in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.