The Growth of Settlements – 2005 Summary
Dror Etkes – Peace Now
Number of Settlements and Settlers:
• December 2004: 243,900 settlers, 146 settlements
• December 2005: 250,000 settlers, 121 settlements
(DPV vil gerne gøre opmærksom på at disse tale ikke inkluderer det besatte Øst Jerusalem. Ifølge officielle israelske kilder er der tæt ved 200.000 bosættere i Øst Jerusalem)
Summary: In 2005 12,000 persons joined various settlements, while 9,000 were evacuated from Gaza and the West Bank. Accordingly in 2005 the number of settlers over the Green Line grew despite the evacuation of 21 settlements in the Disengagement.
The annual growth rate of the population in the settlements remains at 5.5%, in comparison the annual population growth rate for the overall Israeli population is 1.8%.
Construction in the Settlements:
• According to the Central Bureau of Statistics in the first half of 2005 construction began on 1,097 residential units, in comparison only 860 were constructed in the same time period in 2004
• According to the central Bureau of Statistics in the first half of 2005 construction was actively taking place in 4,207 residential units, in comparison to 3,984 units in the same time period in 2004.
• In the beginning of 2005 tenders for 1,184 residential units were published, in 2004 962 were published.
• Throughout 2005 “Special Security Zones” began to be constructed surrounding 6 different settlements, and the work on 4 others was completed
• In 2005 the boundary was widened in one settlement (Eshkolot)
Summary: In 2005 there was an increase, from 2004, in the number of residential units to be found in several different stages of construction.
The majority of large areas of construction are taking place in the settlements west of the security fence: Beitar Illit, Modi’in Illit, Alfei Menashe and Ma’ale Adumim.
Construction on a smaller scale was found in the settlements east of the security fence: Itamar, Bracha, Neve Daniel, Pedu’el, Kedumim, Kiryat Arba, Ariel, Geva Binyamin (Adam).
The majority of the construction is taking place under the initative of the Ministry of Housing and Construction, mainly focusing on the settlements west of the fence in the more ultra-Orthodox settlements. Smaller scale expansion is continuing in the settlements east of the fence.
In 2005 we revealed the illegal construction on a grand scale in the settlement of Modi’in Illit, which is constructing thousands of residential units next to the security fence and the village of Bilin. Following this discovery Peace Now petitioned the High Court who in turn ordered an immediate freeze on all work until a clarification of the subject can be reached. From past experiences in this matter it seems that this action will force the state to rethink how to obtain the correct authorization to renew this project.
• Paving of the bypass road Zaatra, joining Nokdim with Jerusalem
• Preparations to pave the “East Ring” road
• Paving of the Ofarim-Beit Arye road
• Paving of the Nili-Ofarim road
• Widening of three different roads in the West Bank, fencing off 4 other roads
• In 2005 expropriation orders were submitted in order to pave a road between Karnei Shomron and Horshim
Summary: We are unable to accurately estimate the cost of these new roads and infrastructure as the sum is to be found in the Defense Ministry’s budget.
The largest project is the Zaatra road, which when completed is estimated to serve only 2,500 settlers. (Nokdim, Tko’a, Ma’ale Amos, Metzad)
In addition to the above, work continues to update and renovate existing roads.