Summary of the third Netanyahu government: A substantial increase in construction starts, planning and tenders – specifically in isolated settlements and the most disputed areas in terms of the chance for two states.
A. Construction Starts - 40% increase in construction starts. 68% of the new construction is in settlements east of the outline proposed by the Geneva Initiative, the areas most challenging for the two-state solution.
B. Tenders– A decade’s (at least) record of tenders in the settlements and East Jerusalem. Tenders for 4,485 residential units were published in 2014 alone.
C. Plans – The third Netanyahu government promoted an average of 460 residential units per month, mainly in isolated settlements, double the number promoted by the previous government.
A. Construction Starts
According to Peace Now count:
In 2014 construction of 3,100 residential units began in the settlements; 2,671 permanent structures and 429 caravans and light construction structures.
In addition, 165 public buildings (kindergartens, educational institutions, synagogues, etc.) and 92 industrial and agricultural structures were built.
9% of the construction – 287 residential units – occurred in the illegal outposts, while the number of settlers therein, according to Peace Now estimates, comprise only 4% of all settlers.
This demonstrates an increase of 40% compared to the respective period last year.
Massive Construction in the Most Difficult Settlements in terms of the Two-State Negotiations
68% of the construction starts (2,115 housing units) occurred east of the outline proposed by the Geneva Initiative, on an area intended, according to the Initiative, for the Palestinian state and only 32% (985 residential units) were started to the west of the said outline, in an area intended for land swapping.
Over the years, the main border dispute between Israel and the Palestinians related to the settlements that Israel wanted to consider part of the “blocks” to be annexed to Israel, but due to their geographical location within the West Bank, preventing Palestinian continuity, the Palestinians objected.
42% of the construction starts in 2014 (1,308 residential units) were carried out in these settlements, between the Geneva Initiative outline and the planned outline for the barrier (mainly in the Ariel, Karnei Shomron and Efrat region).
2014 was a record year in tender publication, for at least a decade. Tender publication (some repeated tenders) eventually halted the negotiations and led Secretary of State John Kerry to withdraw his efforts.
The current Netanyahu government nearly tripled the average number of tenders as compared to the previous Netanyahu government.
In addition to the above tenders, on January 30th, 2015, tenders for another 450 units in the West Bank were issued (114 in Adam, 102 in Kiryat Arba, 156 in Elkana and 78 in Alfei Menashe). Those units were already proposed in tenders in the past but were not sold and were never built.
C. Plans – 100% increase compared to the previous government
The Netanyahu government continued the previous government’s trend of promoting plans throughout the West Bank. During its 22 months in office thus far (18 March 2013 – January 2015), at least 66 plans were promoted for 10,113 different residential units in 41 settlements (monthly average of 460 residential units).
Comparatively, during the 47.5 months of the previous Netanyahu government (31 March 2009 – 17 March 2013), at least 89 plans were promoted for 11,193 different residential units in 50 settlements (monthly average of 235 residential units).
In all, both Netanyahu governments, 31 March 2009 – January 2015, promoted at least 106 construction plans for 13,077 different residential units in 57 settlements.