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      Yesha Council Welcomes New Report: Construction Highest in Years

      A new report by Peace Now meant to elicit backlash and anger has been met with cheers and praise from the residents of Judea and Samaria.
      By Annie Lubin
      First Publish: 1/16/2013, 9:45 AM

      Gilo construction project
      Gilo construction project
      Flash 90

      A new report by a radical left-wing organization meant to elicit backlash and policy changes has been met with cheers and praise from the Yesha Council and residents of Judea and Samaria. 

      According to a "Settlement Watch" report published Wednesday by Peace Now, 2012 was a record year for construction and development beyond the so-called "green line," the 1949 armistice line.

      The Israeli government in 2012 began construction on more than 1,400 new housing units and gave the go ahead to more than 6,000 new housing units, many of them in Har Bracha, Alei Zahav, Kedumim, Tikoa, Nokdim and Gush Etzion.

      The report, produced annually by the organization, also took into account the newly announced plans for 3,000 housing in E1 between Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. 

      Peace Now also pointed out that hundreds of permits were granted for construction in Itamar, and that four outposts were established last year in north Zufin, Nachalat Yosef, Nachalei Tal and Givah 573.

      And the reactions between the watchdog organization and the residents of communities in which construction was approved could not be more polar opposite. 

      Yariv Oppenheimer, general director of Peace Now, said of the publication of the report that "the settlers can be satisfied. There has even been construction in isolated settlements, and massive permits for new building projects. All in all, the settlers have nothing to complain about to Netanyahu - he is doing everything to distance himself even more from the option of separating from the Palestinians and creating two states." 

      The Yesha Council praised the report, saying it, "welcomes the settlement documentation report from Peace Now. We hope that in the following years construction data will be twice as much. In our hearts we have a soft spot reserved for Peace Now, on account that although they petitioned the High Court, along with other left-wing groups, (the court) approved and proceeded with design plans for neighborhoods and communities throughout Judea and Samaria."