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Peace Now Reports 60% Increase in Settlement Construction in 2008; APN Urges Obama to Demand Real Settlement Freeze

"Appallingly, the year that followed Prime Minister Olmert's commitment in Annapolis to freeze settlement construction saw a sharp surge, not only in so-called `settlement blocs' but also east of the security barrier, deep inside the West Bank."
See articles citing Peace Now's report from Israeli and international outlets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 28, 2009
CONTACT:  Ori Nir - (202) 728-1893
 
Washington, D.C. - Following the publication in Israel of a Peace Now report that shows a sharp increase in settlement construction last year, Americans for Peace Now today urged the Obama administration to insist that Israel's government completely stop the building of settlements in the West Bank and remove illegal settlement outposts.
 
"Appallingly, the year that followed Prime Minister Olmert's commitment in Annapolis to freeze settlement construction saw a sharp surge, not only in so-called 'settlement blocs' but also east of the security barrier, deep inside the West Bank. Every structure built in a settlement makes the two-state solution more difficult to achieve and further jeopardizes Israel's future as a Jewish democratic country. The time has come to build a secure and peaceful future for Israel rather than to construct more obstacles to peace," said Debra DeLee, President and CEO of APN, America's leading pro-Israel pro-peace organization.
 
The new report by Peace Now, APN's Israeli sister organization, shows that in 2008 at least 1,257 new structures were built in the West Bank, compared to 800 new structures in 2007. Most of the new construction last year was of permanent structures - 748 of the 1,257. In addition, according to the report, 261 new structures were built in illegal settlement outposts and not a single outpost was removed.
 
To view the full report, which also includes data on land confiscation and road construction in the West Bank, as well as construction in East Jerusalem in 2008, go to: http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=61&docid=3508
 
APN is a Jewish, Zionist organization dedicated to enhancing Israel's security through peace and to supporting the Israeli Peace Now movement.