Advancement of plans for settlement units in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem continued in the second half of 2020 (July-December), albeit at a lower rate than in the first half of 2020 (January-July). 8,058 settlement units were advanced in different stages of the planning and implementation process (plans and tenders). 3,010 of the units pertain to settlements located in occupied East Jerusalem, and 4,948 to settlements located in other parts of the West Bank, including in locations deep in the West Bank. The total number of settlement units advanced through plans and tenders recorded in 2020 (22,448) is close to double the number recorded in 2019 (11,427), making 2020 a “record year” in terms of advanced settlements units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem seen over the past five years. In East Jerusalem a tender for 1,257 units was announced (an increase from the 1,077 units announced in February) for the previously frozen and very sensitive project, to create an entirely new settlement in Givat Hamatos. In addition, road infrastructure projects were advanced in and around occupied East Jerusalem including in the West Bank that mainly serve to connect the settlements to one another and to Jerusalem.
Other trends and developments contributing to settlement expansion in the reporting period included advancements of infrastructure and road projects as well as the establishment of new illegal so called outpost farms. As stated in numerous EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions, settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.1 The EU has reiterated its strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscation - including of EU funded projects - evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, illegal outposts and restrictions of movement and access. The EU has also urged Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts, in line with prior obligations, and maintains that settlement activity in East Jerusalem seriously jeopardizes the possibility of Jerusalem serving as the future capital of both States.
For full report: 20212211_six-monthly_settlement_report_july_-_december_2020.pdf