CBS: 132% increase in West Bank settler housing starts

Growth spurt restores number of settler housing starts to similar level to that which existed prior to ten month moratorium.

November 28, 2013 21:19
2 minute read.
Mosque in Abdullah Ibrahim behind houses in West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrat, December 2011.

Efrat settlement 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )


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The number of West Bank settler housing starts grew by 132 percent in the first three quarters of this year, compared with the same time period in 2012, while the number of finished homes rose by only 1.2%, according to data published Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The pace of settler construction differs markedly from the rest of the country, which registered 5.5% growth in housing starts in the first three quarters of this year compared with the same period in 2012, and 12.4% growth in the number of finished units.

Work began on 2,159 new homes in the first nine months of this year, compared with the ground that was broken for 928 units in that same period in 2012.

The growth spurt restores the number of settler housing starts to a level similar to that which existed prior to the 10 month moratorium on such units – imposed on the West Bank from November 2009 to September 2010.

The moratorium created an immediate 64% drop in the number of housing starts that fell from 1,963 units in 2009 to 737 starts in 2010. They later rose to 1,109 units in 2011 and 1,122 units in 2012, but still lagged far behind the pre-moratorium building – in 2008, there were 2,332 housing starts.

If the number of housing starts continues at a similar pace in the last quarter of 2013 then the total annual figure could be the highest it’s been in over a decade.

Yet the rate of growth has been slowing down, dropping in each quarter of 2013: from 967 starts in the first quarter to 692 in the second quarter to 500 in the third quarter.

The number of finished homes in the West Bank settlements has been more constant, with 1,601 units completed in 2008, 2,071 in 2009, 1,670 in 2010 and 1,682 in 2011.

There was a 24% drop in 2012, with the completion of 1,271 homes.

This year 256 homes were finished in the first quarter, 410 in the second and 403 in the third, for a total of 1,069 completed units in 2013.

It is a 1.2% increase over last year, in which 1,056 homes were finished in West Bank settlements in the first three quarters of 2012.

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