Barkan settlement 311.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Settlers have built foundations for 1,126 new homes in the seven weeks since the
moratorium on such activity expired, but have yet to reach 2009’s level of
building, according to data released by Peace Now on Saturday
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Ground has been prepared for another 523 homes, but the
foundations for these units have not yet been laid, the NGO added.
organization’s report, which relies in part on aerial footage, is the most
comprehensive data to date on settlement construction in the aftermath of the
Governmental data on settlement construction for all of 2010 is
not likely to be available until the end of February.
No full calculation
was ever presented regarding the number of housing units on which work was
suspended from November 26, 2009, to September 26, 2010. But based on past
figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, it was likely that work on
anywhere from 1,000 to 1,600 housing units was affected.
According to the
CBS, there were 2,107 housing starts in West Bank settlements in 2008 and 1,888
If settlers hope to reach the same level of activity in 2010,
they would have to lay between 762 and 981 foundations in the next seven
Peace Now called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to renew the
moratorium on new construction.
“The freeze had turned into a 10-month
delay. If it is not followed by a second freeze, it will become irrelevant,”
said Hagit Ofran, who heads the Peace Now Settlement Watch Team.
Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip bitterly
attacked the report and said it only wished that the “hallucinatory figures”
Peace Now never misses an opportunity to “sabotage” Israel’s
diplomatic interests, council head Dani Dayan said.
With this “garbled”
report, Peace Now is trying to “incite” a disagreement between the United States
and Israel, Dayan said.
It represents a “nasty and transparent” attempt
by Peace Now to force the government to adopt an extremist left-wing policy, he
According to Peace Now, there are new housing starts in 61 out of
the 121 settlements.
It added that 34 percent of the new construction was
in settlements located outside the route of the West Bank security
The bulk of new work involves small projects of less than 50
units, according to the report. The largest new project, of 216 units, is in
Betar Illit, the second largest Jewish West Bank community.
that settlement – which typically contributes to a fair amount of new housing –
have said that they are out of construction permits and cannot build beyond this
Construction numbers were low, 94 units, in Modi’in Illit, which
is the largest settlement and normally builds hundreds of apartments every year.
Similarly, the third largest settlement, Ma’aleh Adumim, has only registered 24
new homes since the moratorium expired.
Like Betar Illit, it has also
said that it is out of construction permits.