Peace Now Settlement Watch News Flash: 40% Increase in Construction Starts in West Bank Settlements during 2016

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Today (March 22, 2017) the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) published its data on construction starts for 2016. According to the ICBS, during 2016 2,630 housing construction starts took place in West Bank settlements. This is a 40% (39.6%) increase compared to 2015 (1,901).

Furthermore, this is the second highest number of construction starts in the past 15 years (since 2001). The only year during which more construction starts took place was 2013 (2,874). It is worth noting that the 2016 figure is likely to grow, as the ICBS updates its data in the months after its publication.

On average, since 2001, 1,790 housing units begin to be constructed in West Bank settlements each year. In 2016, construction starts surpassed the yearly average by 840 housing units.

Based on ICBS data, since Netanyahu took office in 2009, over 14,000 (14,017) housing units began to be constructed in the settlements.

Peace Now: "the sharp increase in settlement construction sends a clear message to the Palestinians and to the international community that Israel is not interested in a two state solution. Since Netanyahu took office in 2009, over 14,000 housing units were constructed in the settlements, and last year alone, 2,600 housing units began to be constructed - 40% more than in the previous year. By speeding up settlement construction, Netanyahu is leading Israel towards becoming an apartheid state."

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