13,000 More Jewish Settlers Arrived in Palestinian Territories in 2000
Some 13,000 more Jewish settlers moved into the Palestinian territories in the first nine months of 2000, according to figures published Monday by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.
The influx, which marks a seven percent growth in the number of settlers, was registered before the Palestinian uprising broke out September 28.
Many of the newcomers went to the settlements of Modiin Elit and Beitar, both a few kilometers (miles) away from the former border between Israel and the occupied West Bank.
Some 200,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with many more in east Jerusalem, annexed by Israel after it won the territories in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The Israeli movement Peace Now recently said the number of settlement buildings in the Palestinian territories has shot up 50 percent since Israel and the Palestinians signed the 1993 Oslo agreement on Palestinian autonomy.
In a report highly critical of the Israeli government, the pacifist group said settlers built some 32,750 housing units in the Palestinian territories from September 1993 through July 2000.
Peace Now said 2,830 of the settlements were built after the election last year of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who ousted the right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu on a promise to make peace with the Arabs -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)