Peace Now Settlement Watch: Settlement Construction Is Not The Answer to Terrorism

From Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Following the deadly attacks against Israelis last week, it has been reported that the government is advancing plans for 800 housing units in Maale Adumim and in East Jerusalem. It is not clear at this point exactly which plans are being promoted and the promotion of 560 housing units in Ma'ale Adumim, for instance, seems to be made up of several smaller plans. In addition, it has been reported that the government will open a tender for 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba. For more information on this tender and the Kiryat Arba population see below.

Peace Now: Settlement construction is endangering both the possibility for peace and two states and the security of Israeli citizens. New housing units in the settlements will not prevent the next victims but rather strengthen the extremists on both sides. The real answer to terror is ending the occupation and reaching a negotiated agreement. Meanwhile, Israeli citizens will continue to pay the price of the extreme right wing government's policies. 

As  Settlers Are Leaving Government Seeks to Expand Kiryat Arba

On July 2nd, it was reported that the Israeli government will re-open a tender for 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba. However, when looking at the population of this isolated settlement, it appears that settlers are leaving Kiryat Arba.


The ICBS data (updated until the end of 2014) shows that since Netanyahu took office in 2009 the number of Kiryat Arba residents decreased from 7,096 at the end of 2009 to 6,951 at the end of 2014. Accoding to he ICBS data during these years an average of 250 babies were born each year in Kiryat Arba (approximately 1,500 in total) and between 25 and 30 people passed away (approximately 165 individuals in total). Hence, approximately 1,480 settlers left Kiryat Arba in the past six years.


In 2013 a tender for published for the construction of 84 housing units, after a decade during which no tenders were published in Kiryat Arba. The tender was unsuccessful. Then in 2015 the same tender for 84 housing units was published, alongside a tender for 18 housing units (a total of 102 housing units). This tender was successful but as far as we know, construction has not yet begun. The tender for 42 housing units that the government now seeks to publish seems as another attempt to market a portion of the tender that was approved in 2015, and must have had a problem which required a new tender. Thus, despite of the governments effort to expand Kiryat Arba, only 60 housing units have been sold and their construction has not yet begun. Between 2009 and 2015, according to Peace Now's count, 150 new housing units were built in Kiryat Arba, based on older tenders and some new families settled in the area, but the trend is definitely one of decline.