The second biggest population settlement established by the Israelis in the Palestinian territories. It now has more than 16,000 inhabitants and the Israeli government has granted it, as for the settlement of Maale Adunim, the status of « Israeli town ».

Established in the North of Jerusalem, Ariel was created in 1978. It developed considerably in the beginning of the nineties with the influx of immigrants from the former USSR. These represent 40% of Ariel’s population. The irreversible aspect of this population settlement means that most peace plans between Israël and the Palestinians (including the aborted agreement of Taba of January 2001) plan the annexation of Ariel and its colonies periferal to the State of Israël.

The Judea-Samaria College, an important higher education institution with 5500 students, is established in Ariel.