Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said he was pleased by a report released by the extreme-leftist Peace Now organization saying construction in Judea and Samaria has increased by 20%.
"I'm glad that Peace Now uses the funds it receives from the European Union to document the Zionist settlement of Eretz Israel for future generations," Mesika said.
The "vast majority of construction in Judea and Samaria is not for the government, but in spite of the government - and despite the abuse of the settlements by our Defense Minister," he added.
Peace Now's report, Mesika said, shows "the enormous demand from the public all over the country for construction in Judea and Samaria, despite the fact that the government is not helping."
"This proves the Israeli public behind construction and the growing settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria," he added.
According to Peace Now, in 2011at least 1850 housing units were built in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria -, an increase of 20% compared with rates of construction in 2010. According to the statistics, 35% of housing starts were isolated communities beyond the planned route of the so-called security fence.
Peace Now's Yariv Oppenheimer said "2011 was a good year for the settlers, and despite the media attention on demolitions, the Netanyahu government has approved a record number of buildings."