Sorry for riving a zombie thread, but it's the right place for my question and is, yet again, topical. Just curious of the people who honestly know, why do people actually want to live in these settlements? Are they heavily subsidized or something? I understand why Israel wants them, but I don't get why somebody would actually want a home in a place as hotly contested.
Alright, well, the settlements date back to the 60's (more or less), and originally they were meant as more of a temporary thing to use during diplomacy. They pushed for families to move there to help with that. So, on the one hand, you do have families that have been in the settlements for over 50 years. Some of those people stay there because that's where they were born, raised, etc. Then, as I said, the government REALLY pushes for people to move there. It's very cheap, compared to Israeli proper. A ton of government money goes into building infrastructure in the settlements, so you can get a really nice apartment for like 1/3 the price of a crappy place in Israel. So you have a lot of people who live there because it's cheap. When you're very religious and don't have much of an income, and they ask you to live in what is sold as greater Israel, or biblical Israel, it's very appealing.
Then of course you have lots of people who are politically motivated to live in contested areas. Their mindset is that if you set up shop, it's yours. They prefer living in settlements because it's their way of fighting against the Palestinians in an attempt to incorporate as much of Palestine into Israel one day.
So it's a good amount of diversity, though I cannot condone a single aspect of it.