Palestine

70% Rise in Settlement Construction in WB, East Al-Quds

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Israeli anti settler group “Peace Now”, reported that new settlement construction starts rose by 70 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with a year earlier, describing the increase as “drastic”.

According to figures released by the group, the construction of 1,708 new homes in the West Bank and east al-Quds (Jerusalem) began between January and June 2013, compared with 995 in the same period last year.

And 86 percent of the new construction was carried out in areas where tenders were not required, it said, meaning it did not technically flout the quiet freeze on tenders Tel Aviv reportedly agreed to this year as Washington pushed for a resumption of the so-called peace talks.

“This means the ‘tender moratorium’ declared by the government until the prisoners release in July 2013 was not a general construction freeze but only of a small part of the construction in settlements,” the watchdog said.

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