CBS: Public building in W. Bank down 60%

W. Bank public building

west bank construction settlement 248  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
west bank construction settlement 248
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Public building starts in the West Bank have dropped some 60 percent since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took office, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures quoted in an Israel Radio report Wednesday. The data showed that between the months of April and September 2009, only 132 housing units were approved, compared to 330 in the same period last year, during former prime minister Ehud Olmert's term in office. Between April and September 2007, the figure was 370. Between the months of July and September this year, only four public units were actually built, according to the CBS data. In terms of private construction, Israel Radio cited data showing a sharp rise over the last quarter. During the first quarter of Netanyahu's term, some 200 private housing units were approved, whereas in the following quarter the figure jumped to 530 units. Responding to the data, Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer said, "Settlers don't have anything to complain about." Referring to the recently announced ten-month moratorium on new building in West Bank settlements, Oppenheimer said that there were enough construction projects approved for this period.