Sharp Rise in Building in Judea and Samaria
Radical left wing NGO Peace Now has reported a significant increase in building in Judea and Samaria in the first half of 2013.
The NGO said the figures comparing January-June 2013 to the same period in 2012 showed a 70% rise in the starting of new building projects.
It said while work on 995 new homes was started in the first six months of 2012, this year 1,708 new homes had been begun, including 180 which the organization says are illegal.
The report also said that work on 1,794 homes had been completed with work on 2,840 continuing. This figure did not include some 230 caravans, classed as temporary housing.
Peace Now also reported that 44% of buildings were east of Israel's security fence.
The Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party celebrated the report. "It is a compliment to receive a report like this from Peace Now," a party statement read. "We will do all we can so that reports like these only get bigger over the years to come."
The statement continued, "Yariv Oppenheimer, [Head of Peace Now] continues to motivate the Bayit Yehudi party to continue in its efforts to settle the land of Judea and Samaria for the security of the State of Israel."
In January of this year, Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria welcomed Peace Now's 'settlement watch' which heralded 2012 as a record year for construction.