Historic absence of housing starts in Judea and Samaria

Only five new housing starts in settlements in first two quarters of 2010; sharp contrast to same period last year.

September 1, 2010 03:37
2 minute read.
Illustrative photo

settlements 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

For the second quarter in a row, there were almost no new housing starts in the West Bank settlements, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The report of what is an historic absence of housing starts in Judea and Samaria comes on the eve of the start of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the first such meeting since talks broke down in December 2008. Halting settlement construction has been one of the key demands Palestinians have made of Israel.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

'Building set to start in settlements'
'Settlements control 42% of West Bank'

Initially, when the CBS reported its first quarter statistics at the end of May, its data showed no housing starts for the first quarter of this year. Since then the CBS has adjusted the numbers slightly, as it often does. Based on the new data there were only two new housing starts from January to March of this year. From April to June, the CBS reported only three new housing starts.

Overall, according to the CBS, there were a total of five new housing starts in the first two quarters of 2010, during which time the 10-month moratorium on such activity was in place.

The number marks a sharp contrast from the 673 new starts that occurred in that same period last year when there was no moratorium.

The dramatic drop to almost zero housing starts runs counter to the trend in the rest of the country, which saw a 17 percent increase in housing starts during that time.

Separately, there was also a drop of 12 percent in the number of new apartments which were completed in West Bank settlements in the first two quarters of 2010, even though there was only a two percent decrease country wide during that same time.

From January to the end of June of this year 796 new apartment units were completed in West Bank settlements, compared with the 906 apartment units which were finished in the same period last year.

According to the moratorium, work can continue on settlement homes which had a foundation as of November 26, when the ban on new construction began.

It was estimated that there were some 3,000 apartment units which were under construction at that time.

Data for the first month of the moratorium in December is not available from the CBS.

Overall in 2009, there were 1,888 housing starts and 2,070 apartment units completed.

In a report that it issued earlier this month, Peace Now, a grass roots group which monitors settlement construction, said that based on aerial surveys it had taken of West Bank settlements, there had actually been 295 new housing starts in Judea and Samaria in the first seven months of the moratorium, from December and until June.

It did acknowledge that the number was less than half of what it would have been without the moratorium.

The CBS said at the time that it stood by its data which was compiled from multiple sources such as the Ministry of Housing and Construction, planning committees, regional and local councils, contractors and realtors.

However, the CBS acknowledged that it did not have the resources to do aerial surveys.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town