Press Release: Settlement Surge Looms Large over Netanyahu-Obama Meeting

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.

Debra DeLee, the President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, said: “The data officially confirm what Peace Now and APN have been contending for months: Netanyahu is acting as the Prime Minister of the settlers, not of Israel, serving the interests of less than five percent of Israeli citizens, who live in settlements across the Green Line. Israelis and their friends overseas want peace for Israel, not more obstacles to peace.

“This report will loom large over Netanyahu in his meeting with President Obama today. While Netanyahu mouths the rhetoric of peace and seeks to shift focus to shortcomings on the Palestinian side, he continues to authorize damaging settlement construction. This construction sends a message - in bricks and concrete - that Netanyahu is not interested in negotiating a two-state solution.” 

For Peace Now’s statement on the new data click here

The full CBS report is available here