By Chaim Levinson, Haaretz – 6 March 2011
Since the end of the settlement moratorium five months ago, the construction rate in West Bank neighborhoods has quadrupled, data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed Saturday.
According to the data, over 114 housing units that settlers started building during the 10-month settlement freeze have been completed, as well as over 1,175 housing units which were started before the temporary moratorium.
The data also reveals that construction of over 427 housing units has begun since October 2010.
The Central Bureau of Statistics noted, however, that the data is based on partial information, and that there has also been a dramatic rise in illegal construction in West Bank outposts that has not been officially documented.
The data does not include caravans and tents that are often placed in illegal outposts to settle the land.
Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been on hold since Israel’s 10-month freeze on new settlements expired at the end of September 2010.