Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Thaw To Come

You have been following my "freeze" posts - and pictures, right?

(here; and here; and over here)

So, no surprise here (with my terminological improvements):- examination of the freeze after more than seven months suggests that it amounts to something less significant, at least on the ground. In many West Bank Yesha settlements communities, building is proceeding apace. Dozens of construction sites with scores of Palestinian Arab workers are active.

...when the freeze was announced, it came with the assertion that some 3,000 units were grandfathered in and would proceed during the moratorium. David Ha’Ivri, spokesman for the Shomron Regional Council in the northern West Bank Samaria, said the leader of the council, Gershon Mesika, knew a freeze was coming and so approved more than 1,600 units in 2009, nearly 10 times the number that had been approved the previous year for his area.

Moreover, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics for 2006 through 2008 show that on average about 3,000 West Bank Yesha settlement units were built in each of those years. So the 10-month freeze offered no fundamental change of pace. In addition, the statistics show, in the last quarter of 2009, more than 750 housing units were approved for West Bank Yesha settlements. That was double the number of each of the three previous quarters. So in the first half of 2010, when no more units were permitted, the pace of building remained largely unchanged.

Data for the second quarter of 2010 will not be released until the end of August. Assuming that there are no new housing starts during that time as well, building in Jewish settlements communities will have shown only a mild drop-off if construction begins again in September, as settlers revenants hope. If, however, the freeze is extended, that would lead to the first genuine decline in settlement building of Jewish communities in years.

You can't keep a good Jew frozen.

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