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Almost 20,000 new settlement housing unit in 10 years under Netanyahu

May 15, 2019 at 10:45 am

Israeli settlements near Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 10 February 2015 [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

Israeli authorities have built almost 20,000 settlement housing units in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) during the past decade that Benjamin Netanyahu has been prime minister.

The figure is part of the newly-released annual report by settlement watchdog Peace Now.

In 2018 alone, 2,100 new housing units began construction in the occupied West Bank, nine per cent above the annual average since 2009 (1,935 units per year).

Ten per cent of that construction was in outposts that are technically illegal even under Israeli law, and the majority of new settlement construction in 2018 took place in more isolated colonies.

Peace Now’s new report also surveyed the impact of ten years of Netanyahu as premier, and found that 19,336 new settlement housing units began construction in the period 2009-2018.

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The majority of these have again been in more isolated settlements, with only a third of the units located west of the illegal Separation Wall.

According to Peace Now, at least 2,206 of the housing units were constructed illegally even under Israeli law, mostly in so-called unauthorised outposts.

Citing Central Bureau of Statistics figures, Peace Now stated that since the end of 2008 until the end of 2017, 120,518 settlers have been added to the settlements.

Peace Now also noted that “in the decade of Netanyahu’s rule, the various government ministries transferred more than NIS 10 billion ($2.8 billion) as surplus budgets to the settlements,” which does not include “the defence and security expenditures” or “some of the road construction expenses”.

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