It has only been three months since the Israeli government announced the formal end to its partial freeze on settlement construction, but that was all the time it took for the construction to not only begin anew, but to escalate into a full on boom.
The West Bank land rush is on, and Israel seems to be putting an enormous amount of effort into the most remote settlements, the ones which would seemingly be on the chopping block if Palestinian statehood is ever realized.
Israel’s Peace Now, an NGO critical of the settlement expansions, says that the construction is likely at its most active in over a decade. Settler groups did not dispute Peace Now’s numbers, but insisted the growth was a good thing.
Peace talks with the Palestinians have been on hold since the freeze ended, and Israeli officials have ruled out a new freeze repeatedly, suggesting the talks may not start up again any time soon. So for the time being, as with most of the West Bank’s history since the occupation began, the settlements will grow, and grow.