HAIFA, 21 Oct (JMCC) - Since the end of the construction moratorium on 26 February, almost 600 new illegal settlement
projects have begun in the West Bank
, according to separate studies done by the AP and Israeli human rights group Peace Now.
Four times the rate of the pre-freeze construction, the growth covers land critical to any future peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority
Peace Now estimates that the pace of growth is four times faster than prior to the freeze. The Associated Press offered a similar figure of 544, which, while not comprehensive, was based on visits to 16 settlements and phone calls to four dozen more.
estimate that work has started at about 600 housing units, and I'm
looking to complete the survey in order to know the exact number, said
Peace Now researcher Hagit Ofran, who is planning to finish a report on
the settlements next week. In some places, it is only leveling the
ground that has started and in others, it's the very foundation that is
now being dug.
That's another 100 units under way since the Monitor's Joshua Mitnick reported last week on a rapid spurt of new Israeli settlement building, in which settlers are trying to make up for lost time.
Read more at the Christian Science Monitor...