Report: Settlement building up since Annapolis


Jewish construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem has increased since Annapolis, a Peace Now report found.


Though Israel promised to freeze construction in the settlements at the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007, the left-wing organization said in its report released Monday that the construction has continued and increased.


Construction has taken place in 101 settlements, excluding East Jerusalem, in the past four months, according to the report. About 275 new buildings were started since Annapolis, with 20 percent of the construction taking place east of the national security fence. In addition, the Defense Ministry has approved plans for the construction of 946 units.


In eastern Jerusalem, tenders for the construction of 750 housing units were granted after the summit, while in the year before the summit only 46 housing units were approved.


The report also found that there was construction in 58 “illegal outposts,” including 16 permanent structures, and that none were evacuated.


“Any construction in the settlements, including the settlement blocs and East Jerusalem, simply reinforce the opinion of Palestinian extremists who see this as ‘proof’ that Israel does not truly want peace, that there is no use to talk with Israel, but instead, one has to fight Israel with force,” the report said.

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