Tuesday, July 05, 2005

mobile houses in context: israeli west bank settlements

"The mobile houses in the Israeli settlement development in the West Bank (or Judea and Samaria) since the 1967 war confirm this different story. Mobile and portable buildings are a common phenomenon in the West Bank and in parts of Israel as they can be found in various locations, yet they are extensively used for the settlements in the West Bank. Various reports on the Israeli settlements in the West Bank commissioned by the ‘United Nations,’ the ‘Foundation for Middle Eastern Peace,’ the ‘Applied Research Institute Jerusalem,’ ‘B’Tselem’ or ‘PeaceNow’ observe the implementation of ‘caravans,’ ‘trailers,’ ‘mobile homes,’ ‘mobile houses’ or ‘shipping containers’ only when a new settlement is being established in the so-called ‘illegal settlement outposts.’ Yet, remaining for several years or decades in the same settlement or used in neighboring settlement the mobile and portable houses constitute a considerable part of the buildings. Thus, they are a serious housing option and a common pattern in almost all settlements in the West Bank, constituting an essential and vital part of the settlement establishment process. "

I spent two years in one of these. It was a lot more comfortable that you'd think.