Peace Now’s annual report on settlement construction in 2017 in the West Bank (excluding Jerusalem) reveals 17% more building than the yearly average over the better part of the past decade. Of the new construction, 78% took place in isolated settlements beyond the Geneva Initiative border, a slight increase from 2016. Tenders published in 2017 reached a two-decade record high, while the new settlement of Amihai (for the Amona evictees) and three outposts were founded.
The steady pace of construction and building deep in the West Bank attest to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s steadfast abetting of the settlement enterprise. It is also apparent that the new U.S. presidency in 2017 had no marginal deterrent effect on these Israeli unilateral moves, which continue to inflict severe damage on Palestinians’ way of life and on prospects for a two-state solution.
- According to Peace Now’s count, 2,783 new housing units began construction in 2017, around 17% higher than the yearly average rate since Prime Minister Netanyahu took office in 2009.
- 78% (2,168 housing units) of the new construction was in settlements east of the proposed Geneva Initiative border, i.e. settlements that are likely to be evicted in a two-state agreement.
- 36% (997 housing units) of the new construction was in areas that are east of the route of the separation barrier. Another 46% (1,290 units) was between the built and the planned route of the barrier. Only 18% is west of the built barrier.
- At least 10% (282 housing units) of the construction was illegal according to the Israeli laws applied in the Occupied Territories (regardless of the illegality of all settlements according to the international law). Out of those, 234 units (8% of the total construction) were in illegal outposts.
- The vast majority of the new construction, 91% (2,544 housing units), was for permanent structures, while that the remainder 9% were new housing units in the shape of mobile homes both in outposts and in settlements.
- 68 new public buildings (such as schools, synagogues etc.) started to be built, alongside 69 structures for industry or agriculture.
- 6,742 housing units were advanced through promotions of plans for settlements, in 59 different settlements (compared to 2,657 units in 2016).
- Almost 66% (4,471 housing units) of the planned units were east of the proposed Geneva Initiative border.
- Tenders were published for 3,154 housing units, which is a record number in almost two decades.
- Three new outposts were established: north of Ramallah (Neve Achi), south of Jericho (Kedem Arava) and south of Dahariya (Shabtai’s Farm). In addition, the official new settlement of Amihai was established south of Nablus.
- Construction of a new bypass road that will allow for another entrance to Jerusalem for the settlers coming from the north.
- 977 dunams were declared as “state lands” south of Nablus – as part of an effort to legalize the illegal outposts of Givat Haroeh and Palgei Mayim.
- The construction of 31 housing units were approved in the heart of the city of Hebron, establishing a new settlement compound on land housing the old central bus station.