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Five largest Israeli settlements: who lives there, and why

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Rich Clabaugh/Staff

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3. Betar Illit

Founded in 1985

Population: 34,829

Betar Illit is situated about six miles south of Jerusalem and west of Bethlehem, and is located less than a kilometer within the Palestinian side of the Green Line. It is an Orthodox Jewish community with one of the fastest-growing populations in the West Bank. Because much of the population is engaged in religious study, rather than employed in nearby cities, it is relatively self contained. Betar Illit is often considered part of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

See map.

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