For the first nine months of this current year, the number of settlers living in the West Bank and Gaza has expanded at a slower pace than in any year for a decade. However, according to official statistics published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, the data indicated the arrival of new settlers and births among settlers still meant the settler population had risen despite the Palestinian uprising.
The settler population in the West Bank and Gaza advanced 3.3 percent during the first nine months of 2001. Of these, additional 6,600 Israelis decided to move and live in settlements, out of which 6,400 reside in the West Bank and 200 live in the Gaza Strip.
From January to October, the number of settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip rose to 204,900, an increase of 4.4 percent compared with the same period the previous year. The settler population grew by 7.8 percent in 2000 and averaged eight percent annual growth in each of the previous five years, reported the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz daily. (Albawaba.com)