2009 West Bank construction mirrors yearly trend
Study shows newly approved housing units expected to continue settlement growth rate of recent years.
The decision to approve the construction of hundreds of housing units before the settlement freeze goes into affect means that in the coming year the total number of apartments to be built in the settlements will be the same as the number built before limitations were placed on construction over the Green Line.
Central Bureau of Statistics data show that the completion of 2,500 housing units and an immediate start to 455 new units continues the growth trend of recent years.
According to Central Bureau of Statistics publications, from 2005 to the end of 2008, when no special limitations on construction in the settlements were imposed and the American demand to freeze construction was not yet on the agenda, 7,015 housing units were built in the West Bank settlements. Thus during those four years, the average rate of housing starts in the settlements was 1,771 a year.
The number of new housing units will not actually decline compared to previous years. The only difference is that now, that instead of construction permits being given gradually throughout the year, the government intends to issue hundreds of permits within a few days, before the official announcement of the "freeze" is made.
According to Central Bureau of Statistics data, the average household in the settlements consists of 4.46 people. Thus during the "freeze" - in which 2,500 units will be completed and hundreds of others built - the population will grow by about 14,000.