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Something must happen to stop the growth of Israeli settlements. They are negatively affecting the daily lives of Palestinians.

Settlements are illegal under international law because they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and United Nations Resolution 242. Despite this, Israelis continue to build settlements on most of the West Bank territory.

Since 1967, Israelis have built more than 120 settlements on the West Bank and more than 12 settlements in east Jerusalem. Israelis protect these settlements by creating security buffer zones around them by taking away agricultural land, which is Palestinians' source of income.

The Israelis at times have to demolish homes and other buildings of Palestinians to expand settlements. In fact, 396 Palestinian homes were demolished in 2010 and Palestinians were left homeless. Homeless Palestinians now have to find financial resources to buy new homes and get their life back together.

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The United States should not support the settlements in the West Bank, because the West Bank is for the Palestinians. Also, why should the United States support the settlements if they are illegal?

The questions remain: Will Israelis ever move out of these settlements? Will the Israelis be willing to swap land in Israel with Palestinians in order to keep settlements? Can Israelis living on settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem co-live with neighboring Palestinians peacefully?

Mai Dabbas, Lincoln

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