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During the 9 months of Secretary Kerry’s efforts in the region, the Israeli Government promoted plans and tenders for at least 13,851 housing units in the settlements and East Jerusalem - an average of 50 units per day and 1,540 units per month.
The Minister of Defense has approved the creation of a new settlement inside the Palestinian city of Hebron, making
it the first settlement in the city since the 1980s.
The impact of the settlement is remarkable: a large building, 4000 square meters, that can hold more than 20 settler families (more than 120 people) and on a strategic and pivotal location: relatively distant from the other settlements inside Hebron, and on the route that connects Hebron to Kiryat Arba settlement.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed in Washington today, the Israeli government’s Central Bureau of Statistics issued a report showing a whopping 123% surge in West Bank settlement construction in 2013, more than double the number of new settlement homes built in 2012.
The data was analyzed and highlighted today by Israel’s Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) movement. It confirms past interim reports by Peace Now’s Settlement Watch Project. Americans for Peace Now (APN), Shalom Achshav’s US sister-organization, joins Peace Now in condemning Netanyahu’s government for this reckless policy of settlement construction.
A powerful debate between APN's Lara Friedman and Rabbi Daniel Gordis in the New York Times.
Israel’s expansion of settlements in the occupied territories has been an obstacle to the two-state solution, considered the most likely hope for peace with the Palestinians.
On Wednesday on Al Jazeera America talk show, "The Stream," APN's Lara Friedman discussed settlements & BDS, explaining APN's position opposing BDS targeting Israel and supporting boycotts targeting settlements, settlement products, and the occupation. She appeared with guests representing the pro-BDS camp -- Josh Ruebner (US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation), and Yousef Mumayyer (The Palestine Center) -- and the camp opposing all Israel-related boycotts -- Avi Mayer (The Jewish Agency for Israel).
Today, Peace Now's Settlement Watch issued the following update regarding new settlement-related developments in Hebron:
Regardless of the claims that the new housing units would be delayed until after US Secretary of State Kerry's visit, Peace Now has just revealed 272 housing units were approved for validation yesterday (5/1/14).
The plans are for 250 units in the settlement of Ofra and 22 units in the settlement Karnei Shomron. These plans were published for validation online by the Civil Administration's Subcommittee for Settlements.
Today, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee released the following statement:
"We welcome the news that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed his Minister of Housing, Uri Ariel, to 'reconsider' the recently published tenders for the planning of more than 20,000 new settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.