Netanyahu ups focus on settlements, as housing starts hit 10-year low
IslamNews – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to visit the small settlement of Revava Sunday, just two days prior to the March 23 election, to bolster support on the Right as Jewish West Bank housing starts hit a ten-year low.
“I will not uproot 100,000 Jews for a fictitious peace,” Netanyahu said Tuesday at a campaign stop. In the last week he has increasingly focused on his position on West Bank settlements, a topic that is important for right-wing voters. On Sunday he made his first campaign trip during this fourth election cycle to the settlements, visiting the Gush Etzion, Binyamin and South Hebron Hills regions.
Netanyahu has pledged to increase settlement development and to stand strong against US President Joe Biden who is opposed to Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.
His statements follow a four-year spike in the approval of plans for building projects in the settlements under the former Trump Administration.
But those plans have yet to translate into an actual settler building surge on the ground.
Ground was broken for only 1,026 new settler homes in 2020 – the last year of former US president Donald Trump’s four-year term – according to data published last Thursday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The last time the number was that low was in 2011, when there were 1,109 housing starts. In 2010 the number was even lower, with only 738 starts. That was the year US president Barack Obama pressured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to impose a ten month moratorium on such activity from November 2009-September 2010.