West Bank settlement construction surged during the first year of the Trump presidency, an Israeli monitoring group said Sunday, releasing data that added to Palestinian mistrust of the American administration.
Peace Now said that Israel began construction of 2,783 settlement homes in 2017. That was about 17 percent higher than the annual average since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in 2009.
It said that 78 percent of the new homes were in outlying settlements that would likely have to be evacuated if a Palestinian state is established. And 234 units, or 8 percent, were in tiny outposts that are not even authorized by Israel, it said.