KARMEI TZUR, West Bank – Israeli settlers have begun
building new homes at an extraordinary pace since the government lifted
its moratorium on West Bank housing starts — almost 550 in three weeks, more than four times faster than the last two years.
And many homes are going up in areas that under
practically any peace scenario would become part of a Palestinian state,
a trend that could doom U.S.-brokered peace talks.
According to an Associated Press count, ground has
been broken on 544 new West Bank homes since Sept. 26, when Israel
lifted its 10-month freeze on most new settlement building.
The survey, while not comprehensive, marks the most
extensive effort yet to quantify the construction. It was based on
visits to 16 of the West Bank’s more than 120 settlements as well as
phone calls to more than four dozen settlements and interviews with
construction workers and mayors.
“This figure is alarming and is another indi… >>>