A new report from settlement watchdog group Peace Now reports that Israel has quadrupled its construction activity in the occupied West Bank over the past year. Active moves to advance construction on some 2,168 new housing units have happened since last year.
Perhaps even more disturbing than the actual numbers is where the construction is taking place, as large amounts of the construction is happening deep in Palestinian territory, in places like Ariel, settlements that are far beyond the borders of any expected negotiated two-state solution.
Another popular site for construction is Efrat, which is along the only highway connecting the northern and southern parts of Palestine. As these settlements grow, it adds obstacles to any potential peace deal which would lead to an independent Palestine.
These figures are only those on active new building activity. Israel’s far-right government has given on-paper approvals to vastly more housing units than this over the past year, but many are still in the early planning stages.