Since the end of the settlement freeze 10 days ago, bulldozers have been busy clearing the way for 350 residential units in various settlements, Haaretz has learned.
On Wednesday, a long line of Palestinian laborers fanned out from the entrance to Talmon, a settlement west of Ramallah. More workers emerged from cars bearing white Palestinian Authority license plates; they were waiting for the settlement security coordinator to check their papers before they could enter the building sites that have sprung to life since the end of the construction moratorium.
Just before the freeze ended, settlers made a massive effort to re-start construction in response to the moratorium. Now, a feeling of satisfaction reigns in the West Bank settlements over the amount of work that has been carried out in just 10 days. In Kedumim, for example, more than 56 units are being built; in Ariel, tractors are leveling room for 54 terraced homes for families evacuated from the Netzarim settlement in Gaza in 2005. At the same time, surveying work is being undertaken to solve problems in land subdivision. And in Karmei Tsur in Gush Etzion, extensive excavations are underway to begin work on 56 apartment units.
In Adam (Geva Binyamin ), under the jurisdiction of the Binyamin regional council, digging has begun for 24 residential units, some of which will soon have foundations. In Kiryat Arba, work has begun on 34 living units at a terraced site near the entrance. In Neriah, near Talmon, work is underway on a 20-unit expansion of the small settlement. In Modi'in Ilit suburb Matityahu, 20 apartments are under construction, and in nearby Nili, 51.
Smaller projects consisting of a few residential units each are underway in other settlements. In Oranit and Sha'arei Tikva, work is taking place on build-your-own-home lots. In Ravava in Samaria, work is being completed on a handful of units that were to expand the settlement and whose building was interrupted by the freeze.
The situation is similar in Yakir Elazar and Kokhav Hashahar. In Barkan, work has begun on several lots. In Kfar Adumim and Tekoa, a few homes are being built. In Dolev, two units are going up in the Karmei Dolev neighborhood.
According to Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan, "Building in Judea and Samaria is getting back to normal. After 10 unnecessarily harmful months which brought no good to anyone, we're returning to routine. If you've got somebody by the throat for 10 months, they don't breathe four times heavier afterwards, they just breathe normally. That's what's happening now in the settlements."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now