Givat Ze'ev construction 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Housing starts in the settlements for the first half of 2011 were low when
compared to previous years, but the number of finishes was high, according to
data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
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data continues to run counter to speculation by the media and left-wing
activists that there would be a boom in new Jewish West Bank construction in the
aftermath of the 10-month moratorium on such activity that ended on September
Due to the moratorium, it is difficult to compare activity from
2011 and 2010.
But the 281 housing starts in the second quarter of 2011
represent a 42 percent drop from the last quarter of 2010, which is the only
complete quarter in that year in which new settlement construction took place
without any moratorium restrictions.
That is almost the same as the 285
housing starts in the first quarter of 2011.
The total of 566 settler
housing starts in the first half of 2011 represents a 16% drop when compared to
the 713 starts in the same period in 2009, a 44% decrease when compared with the
1,015 starts in 2008 and a 21% drop when compared with the 713 starts in the
first half of 2007.
Part of the drop in 2011 came from the absence of
construction in two of the largest settlements: Modi’in Illit and Betar
In 2009, housing starts in these two haredi communities accounted
for 40% of all new Jewish residential construction in Judea and Samaria.
Similarly, in the last quarter of 2010, housing starts in these two settlements
made up 38% of all such building.
But in the first half of 2011, the CBS
registered only 3 housing starts a piece in the two towns.
homes in these two settlements made up 50% of all such housing starts in the
first half of 2011.
It is expected, however, that the number of new units
in the West Bank could soon rise, particularly given the approvals of 294 new
units in Betar Illit, 277 in Ariel and 100 in Beit Aryeh.
Hagit Ofran of
Peace Now attacked the CBS report as inaccurate and said her organization was
compiling contrary data.
“According to a ground survey that Peace Now is
currently conducting in the settlements, construction is much higher than what
was reported in the CBS,” Ofran said.
But Dani Dayan, chairman of the
Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said there
was little new construction these days in Judea and Samaria.
absolute number of construction projects in Judea and Samaria is outrageously
low and that is the result of the erroneous governmental policy,” he
“[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s government should change
completely its policy regarding new housing in Yesha [Judea and
The western slopes of the Samarian Hills as the area
surrounding Jerusalem north, east and south are Israel’s exclusive reservoir of
lands suitable to build near the metropolitan centers of the country. This will
benefit Israel’s future in the political area as well as in the social area,
bringing more security along affordable prices,” he said.
were 665 such housing starts in 2010, out of which 33 were in the first quarter
and 39 in the second quarter during the moratorium on such
There were 111 home starts in the third quarter after the
moratorium ended and 482 in the fourth quarter.
There were 1,962 housing
starts in 2009, 2,324 in 2008 and 1,471 in 2007.
Separately, according to
the CBS, there was a 40% drop in the number of finished settler homes (442) in
the second quarter of 2011 from the 738 that were completed in the first quarter
of the year.
But that 738 was an unusually high figure. As a result, when
one combines the two figures, the 1,180 finished settler homes in the first half
of 2011 is 22% higher than the 967 homes completed in the same period in 2010,
34% higher than the 878 homes finished in the first half of 2009, and 26% higher
than the 932 homes finished in that same period in 2008.
moratorium did not affect completed homes, and construction was allowed to
continue on 3,000 units that already had foundations when the moratorium began,
it is possible to compare figures from the first half of 2011 with the same
period in 2010 when it comes to completed structures.