Settlement construction has more than doubled in ’13


(JTA) — The number of Israeli construction projects in the West Bank has increased by 141 percent in the first half of 2013.

The work that began on 1,461 homes during the first six months of 2013 surpassed the 1,089 starts registered by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics for all of 2012, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Palestinians have argued that Israel’s continued building in the settlements jeopardizes the peace process.

Israel has refused to freeze any kind of settlement activity.

In 75 percent of cases where ground has been broken in the first half of 2013, the construction projects were in the five largest settlements — 176 in Ariel, 272 in Beitar Illit, 219 in Givat Ze’ev, 278 in Modiin Illit and 155 in Maaleh Adumim, according to the statistics bureau.

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