W. Bank settlement population grew 5.8% in 2006

The population of Israel's settlements in the West Bank grew by 5.8 percent to 268,379 in 2006, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. One portion of the growth in the West Bank was an influx from Gaza. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and dismantled its 21 settlements there in 2005, and most of the 8,500 settlers moved to the West Bank, according to settler leaders.