by Noam Sheizaf 7 March 2014 +972
Successive Israeli governments have argued for years that settlements are not an obstacle to peace. The data tells a different story.
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed earlier this week that 2013 was a record year in settlement construction, while 2014 has seen the beginning of construction of 2,534 housing projects - a rise of 123 percent from 2013.
Settlement construction took place all over the West Bank – in the so-called settlement blocs, which could be annexed to Israel in a two-state framework; in isolated settlements that are slated to be evacuated under such an agreement; on the western side of Israel’s separation barrier (which was built inside the West Bank, rather than on the internationally-recognized border), as well as on its eastern side.
Those numbers do not include, however, significant “unofficial” construction taking place in “illegal” outposts, or construction in annexed East Jerusalem, which is not measured separately by the CBS.