Photo Credit:
Palestinian workers enjoy full employment in construction at the Jewish settlement of Kfar Eldad, in Judea, January 20, 2014. Housing starts in Jewish settlements have gone way up, after the 2009-10 freeze. Peace Now and the Obama White House warn that this threatens the future of a Palestinian State. So that's two good things…

Hours before a scheduled meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama in Washington Monday, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released the figures on Jewish housing starts in Judea and Samaria for 2013 and they show a stunning, 123% rise compared to the year before.

According to the CBS, work began on 2,534 new Judea and Samaria homes and apartments in 2013, compared to 1,133 in 2012. Of these, some 1,710 units were in apartment buildings in the larger Judea and Samaria settlements, and 824 were single-family homes in smaller settlements.

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The same data shows a 19 percent drop in housing starts in the Tel Aviv area.

The total number of housing starts throughout Israel rose 3.4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the CBS.

Housing starts in Judea and Samaria have been lower since a 10-month freeze in building in Judea and Samaria settlements that began in November 2009, as part of the Netanyahu government’s capitulation to American pressure.

It took until 2013 for many new housing tenders to be issued for Judea and Samaria settlements, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Housing starts in Judea and Samaria comprise 5.7% of all the starts in Israel. In the south of Israel there was a 12% rise, in the Haifa region 8.1%, in Jerusalem 2.9%, and up north 1%.

The 19% drop in housing starts in Tel Aviv appears dramatic when juxtaposed with the rest of the country.

And now for a word from our friend at Peace Now Yariv Oppenheimer who issued a statement saying that at this rate of growth there’ll be no room left for a Palestinian State.

The other friendly NGO, the “Geneva Initiative,” faulted Netanyahu for creating a one-state solution through his action, and warned that in such a state the Jews would be in the minority.

No they won’t, just check birth rate figures for Jews (on the rise) and for Judea and Samaria Arabs (on the decline since 2005).

Some JTA content was used in this report, but we had to replace all the “west bank” references with the proper “Judea and Samaria.”

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Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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