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In the first half of 2019 (January-June) advancement of housing units continued on a high level. 5,800 new housing units were advanced in different stages of the planning and implementation process (tenders and plans) in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 1,153 of the units pertain to settlements located in East Jerusalem, and 4,647 to settlements located in other parts of the West Bank, including in outlying locations deep inside the West Bank.
Several significant developments took place during the reporting period.
A new settlement was approved by the retroactive authorization of the Haresha outpost in the north of the West Bank. Another plan authorized previously unauthorized settler construction in Sde Bar east of Bethlehem.
Plans were advanced for the settlements Efrat and Ma'ale Adumim, two large settlements in strategic locations that hamper the possibility for a contiguous Palestinian state and North-South, East-West connectivity. 289 new housing units were approved for validation for the expansion of the Alon settlement near the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar, which is under threat of demolition. Khan al-Ahmar is situated in a sensitive location in Area C, and has strategic importance for preserving the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
Other developments contributing to settlement expansion include the expropriation of Palestinian land for the construction of bypass roads for settlers, settlement activities related to touristic endeavours in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, the eviction of the Palestinian Abu Asab family from its home in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, as well as an increase in the number of reported incidents of settler-related violence.
There are currently approximately 215,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalem while the settler population in Area C of the occupied West Bank is some 413,000. This brings the Israeli settler population in the West Bank to approximately 630,000 individuals in some 143 settlement locations in the West Bank (132) including East Jerusalem (11), and 113 outposts.
As stated in UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.
For the full report,
 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.