An official research conducted by researchers of the Palestinian Census Bureau revealed that Israel’s settlement construction in occupied Palestinian had quadrupled in 2010 comparing to the number of settlement units constructed in 2009. This escalation in settlement activities occurred despite Israel’s claimed 10-month settlement freeze in 2010.The Bureau issued a statement on the eve of March 30, the Palestinian Land Day, stating that in 2010, Israel built 6764 housing units for Jewish settlers in Jewish only settlements built in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied East Jerusalem, comparing to 1703 units built in 2009.
The significant increase in settlement construction and expansion took place despite the so-called 10-month freeze in construction that was declared by the government on Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in 2010.
Last month, the Palestinian Authority headed to the United Nations Security Council to obtain a ruling that obliges Israel to halt its settlement activities in the occupied territories, the United States used its Veto power to topple the vote.
The Palestinian Census Bureau stated that data collected in the occupied territories revealed that the number of settlement outposts and military bases increased to 470 in 2010 as seven new settlement outposts were built while 141 settlements were expanded.
Settlement outposts are outposts installed by settlers without the approval of the Israeli government. Although a few outposts were removed by the Israeli army, outposts generally expand to become “recognized” settlements and start receiving full services by Israel.
The Bureau also stated that the Israeli Annexation Wall built deep in the West Bank and not on the Green Line (that separates between Israel and the West Bank) led to the annexation of 733 square kilometers (%13 of the West Bank).
Last year, Israel demolished 31 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem as in 2009 the Jerusalem Municipality handed dozens orders to demolish homes that belong to Palestinian residents of Silwan, Shu’fat, Sheikh Jarrah and other Arab neighborhoods in the city.
As for the percentage of population, the Bureau stated that 11.5 million persons live in historic Palestine (what became Israel and the occupied territories) an area estimated by 27.000 square kilometer.
The percentage of Jews in all of Palestine now stands at 49.4 and they live and use more than %85 of the lands. Under the British Mandate, the Jewish population was %6.2, and lived on 1.682 square kilometer.
By the end of 2009, the Arab population was %47.9 and they live on less that %15 of the land, while persons of different nationalities and origins (%2.7 of the total population) live inside the territories occupied in 1948 in the lands that became internationally known as Israel.