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, (Reporting period July-December 2018)

04/02/2019 - 15:49
News stories

In the second half of 2018 (July-December) advancement of housing units continued at an unprecedented high level. More than 7,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank (4,350) including East Jerusalem (2,900) were advanced in different stages of the planning and implementation process (tenders and plans).

Several important developments took place during the reporting period. In East Jerusalem, Israeli High Court decisions brought between 600 and 700 Palestinians at risk of being evicted in Batan al Hawa (close to the Old city) and families in Sheikh Jarrah (32 persons) lost their final appeal against eviction. A development that will deepen the Israel control of East Jerusalem and the Old City Bassin.

In December, the Israeli government announced that it would allocate land at the Givat Eitam outpost site for the purpose of planning a new settlement in the strategic "E2" area, that potentially will cut off Bethlehem from the southern West Bank, completing the near encirclement of Bethlehem by Israeli settlements.

The many settlement approvals also included plans that will effectively regulate two new settlements (by legalizing the unauthorized outposts of Ibei Hanachal and Gva’ot) and establish two new settlement industrial zones (one near the Beitar Illit settlement and one near the Avnei Hefetz settlement).

The total advancement of settlement units in 2018 (January-December) amounted to more than 15,800 units (9,400 units in the West Bank and 6,400 units in East Jerusalem). The figures show a sharp spike in planning for future construction. This development will, over several years, enable potentially more than 60,000[1] Israeli settlers to move to the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

There are currently approximately 215,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem while the settler population in Area C in the occupied West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, is some 413,000[2]. This brings the settler population to approximately 630,000 Israeli settlers in 143 settlement locations in the West Bank (132) including East Jerusalem (11)[3] and 106 outposts.

Settlements are illegal under international law as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) and the developments on the ground make the prospect of a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, increasingly unattainable.

Read the full report here:

[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] Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, 2017

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