European Union External Action

Six-Month Report on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem

16/07/2018 - 11:32
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In the first half of 2018 (January-June) advancement of housing units continued at a higher level than in the previous reporting period (July-December 2017). More than 6,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem were advanced in different stages of the planning and implementation process. This development will, over several years, enable potentially more than 27,000[1] Israeli settlers to move to the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

More than 2,100 housing units (of the 6,000 units) are new plans, i.e. they have not been introduced in the planning circuit in the years before 2018.

An important development during the reporting period was the promotion of two plans that would establish two entirely new settlements (Zayit Ra’anan and Brosh) by authorising illegal outposts and the establishment of a new settlement near Hebron, north of the settlement of Kiryat Arba (based on a plan approved in 1988).

Another worrying development was the continued construction of and the approval of funds for large scale road infrastructure projects in the occupied West Bank that improves the connectivity of settlements to Israel.

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 399,300. This brings the settler population to approximately 600,000 Israeli settlers in 143 locations in the West Bank (132) 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.

Through recent settlement activity, Israel continues to reinforce existing settlements and the separation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and is exacerbating the territorial fragmentation of the West Bank.

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

[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.

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