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Peace Now: Israeli settlement construction up 40%

illegal Israeli settlements
File photo of illegal Israeli settlements.

Israeli authorities increased settlement construction by 40 per cent in the first half of 2016, according to data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) today.

Responding to the news, human rights watchdog Peace Now warned of an inevitable “one-state reality”.

In a statement, the group outlined recent data released by ICBS that details statistics on Israeli housing construction since the start of the year, showing that Israeli authorities had commenced construction on 1,195 units in Israeli settlements across the West Bank, marking a 40 per cent increase from the previous six months.

Construction within Israel, however, experienced a three per cent decrease from previous months, according to the data.

“Netanyahu is the prime minister of one sector only – the settler sector, which comprises of less than five per cent of the Israeli population,” Peace Now said in the statement, adding that Netanyahu’s “investments in the settlements do not only come on the expense of the Negev, the Galilee and the rest of Israel but also lead towards a one-state reality.”

At the end of last month, Israel’s Civil Administration approved the advancement of plans for 463 new housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

According to Peace Now, Israel has promoted plans for 2,623 new units in West Bank settlements since the beginning of the year, 756 of which were retroactively legalised constructions.

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