Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told delegates at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on Tuesday that his administrations have built less settler homes beyond the Green Line than his three predecessors - Ehud Olmert, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Barak.
The premier rejected suggestions that Israeli expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is responsible for fueling the recent wave of Palestinian violence.
"During my first term as prime minister, we built, on average, 3,000 housing units per year in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said. "When Barak was prime minister, he built 5,000 units, Sharon built 1,900 units, and Olmert built 1,700 units."
"In light of the circumstances, the average number of housing units built during my terms in office dropped to 1,500 per year," the premier said.
"We can have a discussion about this another time, but facts are facts," Netanyahu said. "These numbers are precise. So instead of seeing a rise in settlement construction, there has actually been a drop."