Peace Now: Settlement construction has doubled


A new report says that Jewish West Bank construction has nearly doubled in the last year.

A Peace Now report released Tuesday claims that Israel is eliminating the Green Line and continuing to build in isolated settlements. The report was released on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice met with Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators in order to advance the peace process.

The report says according to aerial photographs and field visits that more than 1,000 buildings comprising 2,600 housing units are being constructed in communities over the Green Line, demarcating the country’s 1949 borders. Some 55% of the new structures are east of the security fence.

The construction, says the report, will “eliminate the Green Line” by creating “a territorial connection between the blocks of settlements and isolated settlements in the heart of the West Bank.”

Construction initiated for the months January-May 2008 comprised 443 new housing units compared to 240 during the same period in 2007. In addition, 125 new structures have been added to the outposts, including 30 permanent homes, according to the report.

“It seems that the government of Israel repeats the mistakes of the past, by on the one hand negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians and in parallel constructing in the settlements,” the report summarizes. “This construction undermines the Palestinian partners and creating facts on the ground that might prevent the possibility of a peace agreement.”




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