2017 Saw Settlement Construction 17% above Yearly Average in OPT

Peace Now’s 2017 annual report on settlement construction in the West Bank (excluding occupied east Jerusalem) reveals that, last year, building activity exceeded the yearly average over the better part of the past decade by more than 17%.

Of the new construction, 78% took place in isolated settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) “beyond the Geneva Initiative border, a slight increase from 2016.” Tenders published in 2017 reached a two-decade record high, and included the founding of the new “officially” recognized settlement of Amihai south of Nablus (built for the evacuees from Amona) in addition to three “unauthorized” outposts.

Demonstration organized by Peace Now near the illegal outpost of Netiv Avot, February 15, 2018

Demonstration organized by Peace Now near the illegal outpost of Netiv Avot, February 15, 2018 (Photo: Peace Now)

According to Peace Now, “The steady pace of construction and building deep in the West Bank attests to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s steadfast abetting of the settlement enterprise. It is also apparent that the new U.S. presidency in 2017 had no marginal deterrent effect on these unilateral Israeli moves, which continue to inflict severe damage on the Palestinians’ way of life and on prospects for a two-state solution.”

According to Peace Now’s count, construction of 2,783 new housing units was begun in 2017, approximately 17% higher than the yearly average since Prime Minister Netanyahu took office in 2009.

The vast majority of the new construction, 91% (2,544 housing units), was for permanent structures, while that the remaining 9% were mobile homes set up as new housing units in both outposts and settlements.

The three new outposts founded in 2017 were Neve Achi north of Ramallah, Kedem Arava south of Jericho, and Shabtai’s Farm south of Dahariya. In addition, during the course of last year approval was given for the construction of 31 new housing units in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron, thereby creating a new settlement compound on the location of the city’s old central bus station.

The full report in English: http://peacenow.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Annual-Report-2017_Final.pdf