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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z   This menu features recently updated backgrounders on people, places and subjects. To view all backgrounders, click More...
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last updated March 2, 2011 12:55 PM (EST+7)
Ariel
Read more: 
Ariel, settlements, land confiscation, boycott, BDS, Samaria, green line, soviet immigrants, Trans-Samarian highway

Established in 1978, after the signing of the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, Ariel is presently the second largest Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. With a population of 16,600 in the year 2007, this settlement was officially classified by Israel as a city in 1998.


EnlargeMajor General Yoav Galant (center) sits with former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (right) and Reuven Rivlin at a Knesset meeting. Oct. 14, 2004 (AP File Photo)
Multimedia
Settlers attack Palestinians and their property
July 16, 2011 10:36 AM (EST+7)
WATCH: Israeli settlers set cars on fire in Qusra
Oct. 31, 2010 12:00 PM (EST+7)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu in secretly-recorded video, 2001
July 19, 2010 9:54 AM (EST+7)
Green light for Jerusalem settlers
April 28, 2010 4:43 PM (EST+7)
Background
Gaza disengagement
Closure
Camp David II
Documents
Dov Weisglass interview with Haaretz - "The Big Freeze"
Letter from Dov Weisglass to US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice
Letter from Ariel Sharon to President Bush, 2004
Publications
Poll No. 68, June 2009 - Palestinian opinions towards the national dialogue in Cairo between Fateh and Hamas Movements
Poll No. 36 Part I, March 2000 - On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Final Status Issues and Women and Legislation in Palestine
Poll No. 37, June 2000 - On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Final Status Negotiations and the declaration of the State
Resources
"The Big Freeze", interview with Dov Weisglass, Oct. 8, 2004
"The Big Freeze", interview with Dov Weisglass, Oct. 8, 2004
“Analysis: After Annapolis,” by Jeremy Bowen, BBC, Dec 2007

ANNEXATION AND EXPANSION

According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, the Ariel settlement bloc has expanded over the years by annexing Marda, Kifl Haris and Iskaka in Salfit governorate. Located 22 kilometers east of the Green Line, the bloc comprises 26 other settlements, all connected to the Trans-Samarian highway that leads to Jerusalem. According to ARIJ reports, the construction of the Wall has further aided the expansion of the Ariel bloc by including an additional 12,000 dunums of Palestinian land within the Wall confiscated from the Salfit governorate of West Bank.

JEWISH IMMIGRATION

According to Ariel's official website, fifty percent of its population comes from the former Soviet Union. A majority of them arrived through an Aliyah (immigration) program established by the city to absorb new waves of immigrants into its community. The latest wave of immigrants comes from North America. The city is part of a larger Aliyah and Absorption project.

INSTITUTIONS

Popularly referred to by Israelis as the "smart city," Ariel is known for its college, which controversially pairs with international research institutions on high-tech projects. In August, 2007, the college renamed itself a "university," pointedly preempting Israel's accrediting bodies. Ariel also boasts a hotel, a rarity among West Bank settlements.

The eight-mile-long city settlement is also referred to as the "capital of Samaria" by some Israelis.


News on Ariel
Israel first to boycott UN human rights reviewJan. 30, 2013 4:01 AM (EST+7)
Report: Israel spent 38 percent more on settlements in 2011July 31, 2012 7:03 AM (EST+7)
UN names experts to probe Israeli settlementsJuly 7, 2012 3:14 AM (EST+7)


Sources
"Ariel College upgrades status," Haaretz, Aug. 2, 2007
"Israel to keep major settlement," BBC, March 14, 2006
"West Bank college benefits from backlash," Guardian, may 26, 2005



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