The West Bank settlement construction rate is nearly double the construction rate in the rest of the Israel, the Peace Now movement alleged in a report released Wednesday.
According to the movement, while the construction rate within the 1967 borders is one housing unit per 235 residents, in the settlements the rate is one unit for every 123 residents.
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The report, based on aerial photographs and on-site visits also claims that immediately after the 10-month construction freeze (October 2010-July 2011), construction began on 2,598 projects within the West Bank settlements – 64% (1,642) of which were units with grounds attached.
Moreover, groundwork for the construction of an additional 317 additional units and 100 caravans has already been completed. According to Peace Now, at least 383 of the housing units are illegal and 157 out of the units are to be constructed on illegal outposts.
Incidentally, the construction of 3,700 housing units continued throughout the construction freeze due to the fact that groundwork was laid before the freeze began.
Peace Now data revealed that 66% of the construction was being carried out east of the existing separation fence. 826 units were being constructed on isolated settlements, 869 were being constructed on settlements west of the separation fence and 903 units were being constructed on settlements between the existing fence and the planned fence.
"The planned separation fence goes deep into the West Bank at four 'fingers', the construction of which Israel avoids completing for political reasons," the report stated.
The four 'fingers' are Ariel (245 housing units), Gush Etzion (329), Karnei Shomron-Kdumim (114) and the Maale Edumim region (212).
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