The Palestinian Census Bureau has reported that Israel built four new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank in 2012, raising the number of Jewish settlements to 144 comparing to 140 by the end of 2011. In its Wednesday reported, the Bureau said Israel’s settlements in occupied Palestine are illegal and violate International Law in addition to violating the Fourth Geneva Convention, as they are illegally built in occupied territories.

The Bureau added that most of the settlements are concentrated in occupied Jerusalem, as there are 26 official settlements in the city, followed by the central West Bank district of Ramallah and Al-Biereh (24 settlements).

Hebron comes in third with 19 illegal settlements, followed by 17 more settlements in the Palestinian Plains area. The northern West Bank district of Qalqilia has three settlements, the lowest number of settlements in all of the West Bank.

The Census Bureau added that, by the end of 2012, the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank reached approximately (563.546) settlers, comparing to (538.781) settlers in 2011. This shows a %4.6 increase in the number of settlers.

It further stated that the number of settlers increased 40 fold between the years of 1972 and 2013.

In addition, the number of settlers increased by %2.8 since the beginning of this year until the end of July, due to the illegal expansion of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine.

The number of settlers in occupied Jerusalem is (203.176) settlers, (%49.2) of the entire settler population, while the number of settlers in the Ramallah and Al-Biereh District is (107.586), in addition to (66.392) settlers in Bethlehem, and (35.138) settlers in Salfit.

Tubas central West Bank district has the lowest number of settlers comparing to the rest of Palestine as 1.452 settlers live in the district.

As efforts to maintain direct peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, Israel still insists on constructing thousands of units of Jewish settlers in different settlements in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem.

Two days ago, the Israeli government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approved the construction of additional 890 units for Jewish settlers in the Gilo illegal settlement, southwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

The decision came after Tel Aviv approved the construction of 1200 units in West Bank and Jerusalem settlements.

On Sunday, Israeli “Housing Minister”, Uri Ariel, and the Jerusalem City Council head, Nir Barkat, placed the cornerstone of a new settlement, meant for Haredi Jews, on Palestinian lands in Jabal Al-Mokabbir Palestinian town, south of occupied East Jerusalem.

This came after the government on Netanyahu approved the construction of 1200 units in West Bank and Jerusalem settlements.