Occupied territories

Other Names:
Military occupation
Belligerent occupation
Aggressive settlement
Displacement of indigenous population by foreign settlers
Militant permanent occupation of territories
Aggressive settlement of territories

Governments have deliberately or tacitly encouraged the infiltration and occupation of territories to which others lay claim. This process is sooner or later facilitated by miliary support to override any local resistance. The violence of such resistance is used to justify violent repression of the indigenous populations which may gradually be outnumbered, marginalized or displaced onto reservations.


In recent years aggressive resettlement has been vigorously practised on the West Bank by Israel. The Israeli settlement of occupied territories is prohibited under international law by clauses of the Geneva Convention concerning the movement of civilians into such territories. Some settlements were even established in defiance of the Israeli government. The settlements have obtained massive support from successive governments of Israel. This includes finance, infrastructure, services, laws and procedures recognizing their privileged status, together with protection by the Israeli army. Their citizens are allowed to bear arms, in contrast to their Palestinian neighbours, against which they are free to act in a racist and arrogant manner. The settlers have occupied property illegally and been supported by ex post facto expropriations or repressive measures against Palestinian protesters. When angered they blockade roads, terrorize Arabs or destroy their property at will. The record of settler violence includes 17 murders since the beginning of the Intifada.

China has vigorously promoted a programme to resettle ethnic Chinese in Tibet, obliging workers in state enterprises to move to a region notorious for its remoteness, altitude sickness and harsh climate, but with the offer of returning to any city of their choice in China after eight years. From 1993, Chinese leaders have been imposed on district and village councils in Tibet. The situation has developed to the point that the Chinese in 1993 outnumbered the Tibetans within Tibet. In Lhasa the Tibetans are outnumbered two to one. There has been long-standing bitterness over the expropriation of black farmers in the early days of apartheid and the sale of the land to whites. The constitution of South Africa renegotiated in 1993 provides for restitution of land to communities or individuals who had been dispossessed under any racial law dating back to 1913.

Related Problems:
Occupied nations
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST