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Settlers marching to new outpost (Archive) Photo: AFP
Settlers marching to new outpost (Archive) Photo: AFP
 
 

Peace Now: Settlers smuggling caravans to territories

Group issues report showing that settlers bypassing ban on moving caravans to West Bank by assembling them on site; report also finds population growth in settlements three times higher than in rest of country

Efrat Weiss
Published: 11.07.07, 09:09 / Israel News

Settlers have found a way to circumvent the ban on transporting caravans to the West Bank, by assembling them on site instead, a new Peace Now report on the settlement project in the territories reveals.

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According to the report, this new method of transporting construction materials to the settlements and not prefabricated caravans, has allowed the establishment of hundreds of new unauthorized housing units in the region.

 

The group's periodical report further stated that the population growth among settlers was three times higher than that of the population within the Green Line, mainly due to the natural population increase and the relocation of ultra-Orthodox families to the region.

 

According to Peace Now, the findings of their bi-annual report indicate that the government continues to violate its commitments as stipulated in the road map for peace - construction in the territories has not been halted and no outposts have been evacuated.

 

For instance, construction projects are being carried out in 88 settlements, most of them on the "Israeli" side of the security fence.

 

Yesha Council: Settlement project thriving

Furthermore, the construction of the new Judea and Samaria police headquarters in the E1 zone near Maale Adumim is nearly completed. Peace Now claims that the construction plan will finalize the isolation of east Jerusalem from the West Bank and divide the Palestinian territory in half, disrupting the territorial contiguity and preventing access to east Jerusalem.

 

Responding to the report, the Yesha Council said: "We are pleased that this year too the population growth was three time higher than in the rest of Israel. Peace Now's report proves that the settlement project in the West Bank continues in full speed, despite terror, the freezing of construction, political pressure and legal decrees.

 

"We thank Peace Now for documenting this important Zionist project and hope next year will see over 300,000 residents living here."

 

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