Palestinian workers build settlement home in Kedumim 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
The number of West Bank settlers who started work on new homes dropped by 47% in
the first quarter of this year, when compared with the last three months of
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The data released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics
continues to run counter to speculation by the media and left-wing activists
that in the aftermath of the 10-month moratorium on such activity that ended on
September 26, 2010, there would be a boom in new Jewish construction in Judea
According to the CBS, work was begun on only 242 homes in
settlements in the first quarter of 2011, compared with the 458 starts in the
last three months of 2010.
Due to the moratorium, it is difficult to
compare the first quarter of 2011 with the same period in 2010, which would have
been the standard method of analysis. But if one compares the first quarter of
2011 with the same period in 2009, then there is a 29% drop from the 342 homes
that began construction in the first three months of that year.
figure for January-March 2011 is the fewest housing starts in any quarter going
back to 2007. In the first quarter of that year, there were 268 housing starts
in the West Bank.
Since its report on 2010 construction was released in
February of this year, the CBS has adjusted its figures slightly to show that
there were 630 housing starts in 2010, a 67% drop compared with the 1,958 starts
The 630 figure reflects the 458 housing starts in the last
quarter of 2010 and a small amount of construction that began during the
moratorium; 33 homes in the first quarter, 35 in the second and 104 in the
Separately, according to the CBS, there was a spike of 74% in the
number of settler homes that were completed in the first quarter of this year
compared with the first three months of 2010.
Since the moratorium
allowed for the completion of 3,000 Jewish homes that were already under
construction in the West Bank from November 2009 to September 2010, scant
attention has been paid to the number of homes that settlers have
In 2010, housing completions were down by 23%, to 1,666, when
compared with the 2,063 homes completed in 2009.
But this year, the
number of finishes has spiked upward with the completion of 722 homes in the
first quarter compared with 414 in the same time last year.
The hike is
even steeper, 127%, when compared with the 318 finishes in the last three months
of 2010. The 722 completed homes is the largest number in any quarter going back