Israeli West Bank settlement up

2012-01-15 22:58

Jerusalem - The number of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank at the end of 2011 rose by 4.3% compared with the previous year to 342 414, an Israeli lawmaker said in a statement on Sunday.

Citing official data obtained from the interior ministry, Yaakov Katz of the far-right National Union party said there were now more than 700 000 Israelis living in areas occupied by Israel in 1967, including east Jerusalem and the Golan.

He said some 300 000 Jews now live in east Jerusalem, along with 20 000 in the Golan Heights, both beyond the so-called Green Line, the armistice line agreed upon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Another 60 000 Jewish Israelis study at institutions in West Bank settlements, meaning there are "currently 720 000 Jews residing beyond the Green Line," he said.

Katz said the 4.3% rise in the West Bank was low compared with 2009, when the figure jumped by seven percent from the previous year.

He also pointed out that the growth took place primarily in areas where the land was owned by regional councils, rather than in "settlement blocs" and cities or local councils, where the defence ministry must approve any new construction.

Israeli settlement construction has proved a consistent sticking point in talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Direct talks that began in September 2010 quickly broke down over the issue.

Israel declined to renew a partial settlement freeze that expired in 2010, and the Palestinians say they will not hold talks while the Jewish state continues to build on land they want for their future state.


Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, east Jerusalem and Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day War, and considers all of Jerusalem its "eternal, undivided" capital.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state, and furiously denounce new settlement construction in the eastern sector of the city, as well as in the West Bank. Syria demands the return of the Golan Heights.

Last week, an Israeli NGO that opposes settlement construction said approvals for Jewish settler homes in east Jerusalem had reached their highest number in a decade in 2011.

According to the Peace Now report, Israel gave final approval for the construction of 3 690 homes in occupied Arab east Jerusalem in 2011, despite Palestinian and international condemnation.

The closest number in the past decade was in 2002, when 2 653 new homes were approved.

The report also said that settlement construction starts in the West Bank rose in 2011 by 20% compared with the previous year.

On Sunday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, saying the illegal building of settlements worked against a two-state solution.

"Settlements, new and old, are illegal. They work against the emergence of a viable Palestinian state," the UN secretary general said.

  • Jaba - 2012-01-15 23:48

    Israel left there peace? Israel left there peace? NO. And neither would there be peace if Israel leaves Judea and Samaria. In fact, the rabid Islamists will have Israel totally surrounded.....encircled for the final kill. Israel per Balfor and San Remo conference if from the Jordan river to the Sea. End of story....these are defensible borders and Israels historical borders. Ban must work to end Palestinian Occupation of the land the Jews have lived in for 4,500 years! Ban Ki-moon want the same "solution" that the Palestinians want - the "Final Solution" which will be "Jew Free" (Judenrein) (Abu Mazen's own words) Palestine from Metulla to Eilat! Ban why don't you work for the end of the occupation of Tibet by China and for human rights in the holier than thou Arab Countries that brutalize their people daily and where woman have no rights at all! The fact is that you are just another bigot in the pay of the Arab oil sheikhs!

      Jaba - 2012-01-16 07:17

      I’m no racist dawood, im sorry you cant handle the truth, you have been so manipulated by anti Israel propaganda its sad. Truth is, the UK created Jordan, thus UK should rename Jordan to Palestine. For the same land mass was partitioned by the UK between the Jews and Muslims; Israel being a Jewish state, while Jordan the Arab state. Why don’t you go research the Balfor declaration and San Remo conference of the early nineteen hundreds? Cause you are too scared of the truth! The U.N. can pass more Israel bashing resolutions to join the hundreds it has already passed, in the garbage heap. But it can't force Israel to allow a new terror state in its heartland. The Palestinians have been used and abused by the Arab world for over 60 years now - they have never received citizenship in any Arab country because you racists keep them hostage in your holy war against this tiny slice of land the size of the Kruger. The U.N. is likely to soon go the way of the League of Nations - into extinction. American and Western taxpayers are getting fed up with supporting this worse than worthless organizations. Palestinians have lost many wars, decades of fighting and 2 intifadas and they come to every "negotiation" with demands, not requests. They need to learn that the ultimatums they present will never bring them peace and it will be at the discretion of the Israeli government if they get a State inside not at the former 1949 borders!

      Warmonger - 2012-01-16 08:24

      Jaba, were the Israeli government not big supporters of the (then banned, now-) current ANC government? Was Israel not vocal Against the then "apartheid" White government in South Africa, and also voiced it's support along with the international community to end Minority rule in South Africa?? I'm asking these questions as I think the two "situations" are (were..) fairly similar, and I need to determine a personal level of sympathy.. At the moment I have NONE (as in 'what you sow'....)

      Jaba - 2012-01-16 09:09

      Warmonger, Not long ago in his attempt to convince the world and Israel's left how committed he was to peace Abbas said he would let settlers live in the Palestinian state but as Palestinian citizens. Now he changed his mind and decided the Palestinian state which was going to be secular and recognise all religions, he has now announced the Palestinian state should be Jew free (Sounds like Apartheid doesn’t it?). Furthermore if you Google Hamas’ charter you will read that their aim is NOT and NEVER will be peace, but rather the destruction of Israel.

      Jaba - 2012-01-16 09:09

      The success of the ANC in ending white minority rule in South Africa is one of the epic stories of our time. It is known as the “South African miracle” because it was achieved relatively peacefully. Negotiations between whites and blacks brought agreement for a ‘democratic’ state. Both Whites and Blacks (the majority) wanted peace and that is why there is peace today in South Africa (even though there is still a long way to go in making SA the success it should be). The Palestinians do not want peace, they want the other side to just die & disappear. This is the only reason why there will not be peace and the only reason why your assertion that, “the two situations are similar is false.” PS. The Sate of Israel was great friends with the Apartheid regime as both were looking for friends in a world that didn’t except them. The SA government was not accepted due to racist laws against the majority, and Israel was not (still not) accepted because of an over a billion strong religion that refuses to accept her existence.

      Dirk - 2012-01-16 09:33

      Jaba- What you say, is correct and you can confidently reject the other comment with total contempt, coming from deceived and brainwashed supporters of the desert barbarians.

  • René - 2012-01-16 00:52

    KOl ha Kavod! @Jaba If you want to torture the wold, TELL THEM THE TRUTH! @ DAWOOD Iam sure Ban may have blurted that load that load of crap with his personal safety in mind. We know what happens to people who disagree with those from the RELIGION OF PEACE. Also it should be interesting if you can point to some passages in the QURAN where your "prophet" mentions the ANCIENT NATION OF "PALESTINIANS" and Yerushalayim by name.

      Rodebaard - 2012-01-16 01:35

      Do you think that Dawood has even read the Quran? He must think that Jesus was a Palestinian and that he lived and preached in Lavender Hill before Islam was invented.

      Barry - 2012-01-16 07:59

      Religion has rarely helped resolve conflict. I don't think Bible or Quran cuddling will help in this conflict either.

      Jaba - 2012-01-16 08:19

      the reason why Barry doesn’t want to discuss religion & this conflict is simple. Islam supports Israel's cause! The Qur'an relates the words by which Moses ordered the Israelites to conquer the Land:"And [remember] when Moses said to his people: 'O my people, call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'" [Qur'an 5:20-21] Moreover - and those who try to use Islam as a weapon against Israel always conveniently ignore this point - the Holy Qur'an explicitly refers to the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel before the Last Judgment - where it says: "And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.'" [Qur'an 17:104] To conclude; The Land of Israel is mentioned many hundreds of times in the Torah by its names “Canaan” and/or “Israel”; other names such as Zion are many many times more. The city of Jerusalem is mentioned 622 times in the Torah by its name Jerusalem and is referred to thousands of times by other names. Jerusalem is NEVER mentioned in the Qur’an.

      Dirk - 2012-01-16 09:39

      The ONLY living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (NB three generations)says that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse them- God bless Israel.

      Barry - 2012-01-16 10:44

      @Jaba @Dirk Your bible cuddling purely shows your reluctance to understand the issue and high lights religious radicals' continuous thirst for human blood.

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