10 days after settlement freeze expires, 350 new units under construction
West Bank settlers satisfied with the momentum; council chair: Building proceeding normally, not at a heightened pace.
A Haaretz investigation reveals that since the building freeze in the West Bank was lifted ten days ago, bulldozers have been working furiously on the construction of 350 new housing units in various settlements.
As the end of the freeze approached, the settlements have made great efforts to launch a massive building campaign in response. The Yesha Council has expressed satisfaction at the large amount of construction that has taken place so far.
Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council of Settlements, said, "construction in Judea and Samaria is resuming normalcy. After ten wasted months, that only caused harm and didn't benefit anybody, we are returning to routine."
Dayan continued, "When you [finally let go after you] throttle someone's neck for two months, he does not start breathing four times as heavy, he starts breathing normally. That is what is happening right now in the settlements."
A long queue of Palestinian laborers lined up Tuesday at the entrance to the settlement of Talmon, west of Ramallah. The vehicles with white license plates parked at the side of the road, and Palestinian workers exited the vehicles.
The workers waited for the security officer to check their identity cards before entering the various construction sites spread out over the settlement that have sprung up since the end of the building freeze.
In the settlement of Kedumim, laborers are working on 56 new houses, and in Ariel bulldozers are flattening the land where 54 staggered-floor houses will be built for the evacuated Gaza settlers of Netzarim. The lands are also being measured because of a problem in the way that the land is parceled.
In Karmei Tzur in the Gush Etzion bloc they have started building 56 houses and executing major earth-moving work. In Adam, land-leveling work has begun for 24 new houses; some of those houses will be ready for their concrete foundations in the near future.
In Kiryat Arba they have begun construction on 34 new houses, and in the small settlement of Nariya they are expanding with 20 new houses. Workers are building 20 new houses in the settlement of Matityahu, and between five to ten in Nili.
There are also a number of settlements in which only a handful of houses are being built. In Oranit and Sha'arei Tikvah there has been some 'D-I-Y' construction. In Revava in Samaria, a single-digit number of houses are being built, some of which were already partially constructed. A similar situation exists in Yakir, Elazar and Kochav Hashachar.
In Barkan, building has begun on a small number of houses. In Kfar Adumim and Tekoa a few houses are being built. In the settlement of Dolev, two new houses are under construction.