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Gush Etzion is a cluster of Jewish settlements located in the Judaean Mountains, directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank. The core group includes four Jewish agricultural villages that were founded in 1940-1947 on property purchased in the 1920s and 1930s, and destroyed by the Arab Legion before the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, in the Kfar Etzion massacre. The area was left outside of Israel with the 1949 armistice lines. These settlements were rebuilt after the 1967 Six-Day War, along with new communities that have expanded the area of the Etzion Bloc., Gush Etzion consisted of 22 settlements with a population of 70,000.The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.HistoryThe core settlements of Gush Etzion before 1948 were Kfar Etzion, Massu'ot Yitzhak, Ein Tzurim and Revadim, built on tracts of land purchased in the early 1920s. From November 29, 1947, Kfar Etzion was under siege and cut off from Jerusalem. On May 13, 1948, when the village surrendered, 127 Jewish inhabitants were massacred by the Arab Legion or local village irregulars or both. The other villages surrendered the next day. The inhabitants were taken prisoner and the homes were plundered and burned.Whether you only want to go to Gush Etzion, or have a whole adventure planned, Inspirock has you covered with our user-friendly Palestinian Territories visit planner.
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