The Office of the European Union Representative
(West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA)

Six-Month Report on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem ( January - June 2017)

15/12/2017 - 10:11

In the first half of 2017, a total of almost 8,000 settlement units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem were advanced in different stages in the planning and implementation process. Almost 5,000 housing units were promoted through plans and close to 3,000 housing units were advanced through tenders. This development will over several years enable potentially more than 30,000[1] Israeli settlers to move to the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

The expansion of settlements occurred through a variety of methods, including the approval of a new settlement, the construction of housing units and public structures, the retroactive legalization of existing outposts and the declaration of Palestinian territory as Israeli “state land”.

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 142 locations in the West Bank (130) including East Jerusalem (12)[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.

A key development during the reporting period was the establishment of a new settlement, Amihai, in the West Bank in proximity to the existing settlement of Shilo, and in proximity of numerous outposts. In reality it is the first official settlement that is established by a government decision since 1992. Another worrying development was the retroactive legalisation of the illegal outpost of Kerem Reim near Ramallah.

In general, settlement related infrastructure projects like bypass roads, archaeological and touristic projects all contribute to continued settlement expansion and the strengthening of Israel's presence and control of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

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).

Full report:

[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 Talpiot, French Hill, Gilo, Giv'at Hamivtar, Har Homa/Givat Hamatos, Ma'alot Dafna, Never Yaakov, Pisgat Ze'ev, Ramat Eshkol, Ramat Shlomo, Ramot, Sanhedria Murhevet.