January 28 An Israeli non-governmental organization that follows Jewish settlement activities in the West Bank released a report on the 27th that in the four years since the beginning of 2017, the population of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank has increased to 475,000.
This organization, called “West Bank Jewish population statistics”, supports the construction of Jewish settlements.
The report said that the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is now 475,481, an increase of about 13% from the beginning of 2017. This figure does not include more than 200,000 people in the 12 Jewish “populated areas” of East Jerusalem.
According to the data of the Israeli government, the Israeli population increased by 8% during the same period.
Associated Press reporters noted that after four years of a surge in the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, then President Donald Trump of the United States came to power.
After Trump joined the White House in January 2017, he replaced the “two-state solution” with the so-called “New Middle East Peace Plan” on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, relocated the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and no longer regarded the Israeli government’s construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a violation of international law.
However, Baruch Gordon, head of the West Bank Jewish Population Statistics, does not believe that the increase in the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is mainly due to the influence of the United States government.” I don’t think any American president can have such a big impact on this, because in fact, the increase depends on the decision of the Israeli government on how many Jewish settlements to build.
During the election campaign, U.S. President Joseph Biden made it clear that he opposed Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, hoping that the election would promote the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
Gordon predicted that the population of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would continue to grow even if the Biden administration asked the Israeli government to stop the construction of Jewish settlements.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War, and later built Jewish settlements in both places.
According to incomplete statistics, there are about 130 Jewish settlements approved by the Israeli government in the West Bank, and about 100 “unofficial” settlements are also there.
The Palestinian side strongly protested the Trump administration’s position and practice of favoring Israel, refusing to accept the Trump administration’s leadership of good offices in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, and seeking multilateral mediation mechanisms instead.
Since July last year, the Israeli government has promoted the “sovereignty” of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley and the West Bank, covering about 30% of the land area in the West Bank.
A few days before Trump left office this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the construction of about 800 new Jewish settlement houses in the West Bank.
According to the Israeli non-governmental organization Peace Now, the Israeli government approved or promoted the construction of more than 12,000 Jewish settlement housing last year.