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Monday, September 13, 2010

Lots more facts on the ground coming?

If only this report turns out to be true, maybe we can put a dent in a housing crisis here that leaves young couples living in converted storage rooms (yes, really - most of the apartments built in Jerusalem in the last 20 years have been luxury apartments).
More than 13,000 settlement housing units in the West Bank are ready for construction once the building moratorium ends on September 26th and at least 2,000 are ready for immediate construction, according to a report by Peace Now released on Sunday.

According to the report, 2,066 units in the West Bank have either had construction permits approved or their ground works already laid.

Peace Now said that hundreds of additional units, whose foundations have not yet been built, are also ready for construction.

The group reported that at least another 11,000 housing units have had their building plans approved. According to Israeli law, settlers are allowed to construct the units in the without further approval by the government.

This translates into a total of 13,000 units which are ready for construction in the West Bank, even if the government implements an implicit building freeze and does not approve new construction in the future, without extending the moratorium. Of the 13,000 units, 5,000 are located east of the separation barrier in isolated settlements.

An additional 25,000 units are currently in the planning phase, having been approved in the past but require additional government approval to be valid.
You know what? For once, I hope Peace Now is right.


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