Israel’s largest extra-parliamentary and oldest peace movement, Peace Now, has presented evidence that shows Tel Aviv is not fulfilling its promise to freeze West Bank construction activities.
According to data gathered by Peace Now, the rate of construction in the West Bank was far more than any other area in the occupied Palestinian lands.
Israel has approved construction of some 3,492 housing units for approximately 300,000 settlers living in the settlements. This averages to approximately 1,167 units for every hundred thousand inhabitants.
The non-governmental Israeli organization went on to note that Israel is currently building 836 housing units for every hundred thousand inhabitants across the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that Israel agrees to freeze all settlement activities, except in Jerusalem Al-Quds, for 10 months in a bid to re-launch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The Palestinians have refused to start peace talks with Netanyahu unless he freezes all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Al-Quds.
Tel Aviv is currently under intense pressure from the international community to halt the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israeli settlements are widely considered the main obstacle in the way of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Under the 2002 Roadmap for Peace plan brokered by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia, Israel has to ‘dismantle settlement outposts erected since 2001 and freeze all settlement activities.’
There are currently 121 Israeli settlements and approximately 102 Israeli outposts built on Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967. All of these settlements and outposts are illegal under international law and have been condemned by numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions.
These settlements and outposts are inhabited by a population of approximately 462,000 Israeli settlers. Some 191,000 Israelis are living in settlements around Jerusalem Al-Quds and an additional 271,400 are spread throughout the West Bank.
All such Jewish settlements are deemed illegal under international law because they have been erected on occupied lands that the Palestinians claim for a future state.