With more than 56,000 residents, Beitar Illit is one of the most populated settlements in the West Bank.
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In the streets of the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit, most men wear the traditional black suits of the ultra-Orthodox, a familiar sight in the strictly religious Jewish neighborhoods of nearby Jerusalem.With more than 56,000 residents, Beitar Illit is one of the most populated settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation for more than half a century.While the ultra-Orthodox make up around 10 percent of the population among all Israelis, they now count for a third of those in the West Bank.50 years after the planting of the first Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox are not choosing to live in Beitar Illit for ideological reasons, unlike many other settlers.More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, in near constant conflict with some three million Palestinians living alongside.Residents point out that some 1,500 Palestinians work daily in the settlement without incident, though Palestinians have few other options for solid employment in the economically struggling West Bank.
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