European Union Office in Kosovo 
European Union Special Representative in Kosovo

Six-Month Report on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, (Reporting period July - December 2017)

20/02/2018 - 16:08

In the second half of 2017 (July-December), close to 5,000 housing units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem were advanced in different stages in the planning and implementation process. Almost 2,600 housing units were promoted in the occupied West Bank and close to 2,300 housing units were advanced in East Jerusalem including 1,600 units in a ring of settlements north of East Jerusalem as well as in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. This development will, over several years, enable potentially more than 23,000[1] Israeli settlers to move to the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

In total, more than 13,000 housing units were promoted through plans and tenders in 2017 (January-December). Of these, almost 5,000 housing units are new, i.e. they have not been introduced in the planning circuit in the years before 2017. This development accounts for an extraordinary three- to four-fold increase in advancement of housing units in 2017 through plans and tenders compared to 2016.

There are currently approximately 208,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem while the settler population in Area C in the occupied West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, is some 399,000. This brings the settler population to approximately 600,000 Israeli settlers in 141 locations in the West Bank (130) including East Jerusalem (11)[2].  According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics 4.6% of the total Israeli population resides today in the Occupied West Bank excluding East Jerusalem.

An important development during the reporting period was the establishment of a new settlement in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. It is the first plan for settlers in Hebron since 2002. Another worrying development was the approval of construction of large scale road infrastructure projects in the occupied West Bank that improves the connectivity of settlements to Israel.

Continued settlement expansion, illegal under international law as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), goes directly against long-standing EU policy and the recommendations of the Quartet Report (2016). Settlements undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous, and sovereign Palestinian state.


[1] The estimate is based on the average size of a household in the occupied West Bank of 4,66 persons per family (as defined by Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, media release 030/2016, February 7, 2016, p.5).

[2] East Talpiyot, French Hill, Gilo, Har Homa, Jewish Quarter, Maalot Dafna, Neve Ya'akov, Pisgat Ze'ev, Ramat Eshkol, Ramat Shlomo and Ramot.