Jump in settlement construction in 2013

More Israeli construction projects were initiated in the West Bank during the first six months of the year, 1,461, than the 1,089 starts registered for all of 2012 by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the Jerusalem Post reported on Aug. 29.

Palestinians have argued that Israel’s continued building in the settlements jeopardizes the peace process. Israel has refused to freeze any kind of settlement activity.

In 75 percent of cases where ground has been broken in the first half of 2013, the construction projects were in the five largest settlements: 176 in Ariel, 272 in Beitar Illit, 219 in Givat Ze’ev, 278 in Modi’in Illit and 155 in Ma’aleh Adumim, according to the statistics bureau. — jta