The Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem and Land Research Center revealed to European Union consuls and the Arab countries accredited to the Palestinian Authority that the number of settlers living in the West Bank is increasing as well as settlement construction.
Jad Isaac, Director General of the Applied Research Institute–Jerusalem, pointed out that in 1992, a year before Oslo, settlements in the West bank covered an area of 77 kilometers with 248,000 Israeli settlers. In 2016, however, the area covered with settlements reached 197 kilometers, an increase by 156%, with 763,000 Israeli settlers, triple the number that existed in 1992.
Isaac warned of the Israeli pretext, natural growth, which is the most favorite excuse and is exploited politically.
The number of Israeli settlers grows much slower than the construction of new settlement units, which indicates that there is no need for building new settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli occupation authority, however, aims at seizing more Palestinian lands in the West Bank territories as well as bringing more immigrants, he added.
Isaac pointed out that Israeli settlers, however, are expected to reach 800,000 in 2017.
(Source / 05.02.2017)