Peace Now Settlement Watch: 2015 In the Settlements: No Freeze At All Settlement Watch Annual Construction Report

News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Report2015SettlementsOver the weekend, Israel’s Peace Now movement published its annual report on West Bank settlement planning and construction in the past year. Following is the executive summary of Peace Now’s report, followed by a link to the full report, as well as links to several news articles about the report.

2015 In the Settlements: No Freeze At All
Settlement Watch Annual Construction Report
Peace Now's annual construction report reveals that in 2015 construction continued throughout the West Bank settlements, and especially in isolated settlements. These finding refute the argument that a "silent freeze" is currently in place. While earlier this year Netanyahu argued in English that he is the Prime Minister who has built the least in the settlements, in Hebrew he proudly demonstrated to Likud members the increase in settlement construction during his time in office. It is clear that in 2015 as well, Netanyahu's statements in Hebrew are more representative of the reality on the ground than his statements in English.

Main Findings:

  • In 2015, construction for 1,800 new housing units began in the settlements.
  • Over 40% of the construction took place (746 housing units) east of the separation barrier.
  • 79% of the construction starts took place in settlements east of the Geneva Initiative potential border, in settlements that Israel will probably need to evacuate under a permanent status agreement.
  • the infrastructure of lots for the construction of at least another 734 housing units was developed and construction there is expected to begin soon.
  • 265 housing units (15%) were built in illegal outposts.
  • 1,547 of the housing units are permanent structures and 253 are mobile units.
  • 63 public structures (synagogues, kindergartens, etc.) and 42 industrial or agricultural structures were constructed.
  • According to Peace Now estimates and based on Civil Administration data, 32 housing units were built on private Palestinian land, almost all of them in illegal outposts.
  • A new illegal outpost was established south of the Nofei Prat settlement – in an area in which the government operates intensively to demolish Bedouin houses along Rte. 1 toward Jericho. 
  • Despite the declared “tenders freeze” tenders for 1,143 new housing units were published in 2015.
  • Despite the declared “planning freeze" the High Planning Committee approved 348 new Housing units for depositing or validation.

For the full report click here.

For more on the settlements and settlement report:

Peace Now's Hagit Ofran and APN's Lara Friedman in Haaretz: Don't Be Fooled by Netanyahu's Sleight of Hand on Settlements.

Articles about the Peace Now report:

Haaretz: Israel Broke Ground on 1,800 Settlement Homes in 2015, Peace Now Says
AFP: Construction began on 1,800 W.Bank settler homes in 2015: NGO
JTA: Peace Now report: 1,800 new housing starts in settlements for 2015
The Jerusalem Post: Peace Now: PM okayed 20 outposts since 2009
Globes: 1,800 housing starts in Israeli settlements in 2015 - report
Times of Israel: Peace Now says 2015 saw dip in settlement construction
i24 News: Israel will not allow international players to decide its borders: deputy FM
Hamodia: Peace Now Report: Housing Starts Down 40 Percent in Yehudah and Shomron
Arutz Sheva: Peace Now reports less construction in Judea and Samaria in 2015