Despite rumors of a building freeze in Judea and Samaria in the past months, construction in Jewish communities in the region increased sharply during the first three months of 2013. Construction was up 176% during the period, as compared to a year earlier.
According to Channel Two, building in pre-1967 Israel actually slowed during the period compared to a year earlier, while growing sharply in the lands liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Construction in areas within the narrower 1948 armistice borders fell 8.9%, Channel Two said.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, January 2012 saw a dip in building starts in Judea and Samaria. Only 200 building starts were filed for home construction in the region during that month. Between January and March, 2013, 865 were filed.
Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer expressed shock upon hearing the news, telling Channel Two that “it's now official that while within Israel construction falls, in the settlements they don't stop building. Unfortunately, this is Israel's answer to the peace moves by the Arab world,” he said, not specifying which peace moves he was referring to.