Approaches for the Palestinian Re-Use of Evacuated Israeli Settlements



The possibility of re-using evacuated Israeli settlements upon a final status agreement is not new. It has been discussed and rejected in prior evacuations (Sinai Peninsula and Gaza strip) in favor of the “evacuate and demolish“ choice.

Adapting the Israeli settlements for Palestinian re-use holds great potential, and many political, financial and environmental benefits for both sides. Nevertheless, it is clear to us today that in order for the re-use of settlements to actually happen, a strong argument is required. This document responds to this challenge, and stresses the need, the feasibility and possible re-use strategies for selected West Bank settlements.

The West Bank settlements are characterized by their interference with Palestinian contiguity, their strong symbolic role as tools for “civilian occupation”, and their separate network of infrastructure. Their re-use thus requires their dissection from their Israeli context together with their careful integration to the Palestinian fabric.

In order to tackle the challenge, this work analyzes the settlements in both their current and future context. Their potential role and re-use is evaluated accordingly, as they are addressed in various scales- national, regional, urban, and building scales.

The work sets a basic methodology for evaluating and approaching settlements for re-use. With additional elaboration, a comprehensive study aimed at planning the re-use of the West Bank evacuated settlements can be conducted as a whole. Such an in-depth study can serve as a tool for promoting the re-use approach but also provide a manual for approaching the issue for the benefit of all stakeholders.


This work provides a starting point for approaching settlement re-use in the West Bank context. It also raises the need for extending the study further to the entire West Bank, to include all potential settlements for evacuation. This can promote the role of sustainable thinking and solutions in implementing a permanent status agreement.

Fact Sheet

Project: Approaches for the Palestinian Re-Use of Evacuated Israeli Settlements

Status: published, 2009

Client: ECF (Economic Cooperation Foundation), Tel Aviv

Funded by: The foreign office of Switzerland


Team: SAYA – Arch. Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat, Arch. Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, Chen Farkas and Kobi Ruthenberg

Supervising committee: ECF – Boaz Karni, Shaul Arieli and Ron Shatzberg

GIS source materials: Dan Rothem