The Associated Press began its report by saying that its investigations showed that the Israeli settlement plans designed under Donald Trump are just beginning to unfold deep in the West Bank, the lands that the Palestinians hope to establish their independent state on. According to the agency, more than 9,000 settlement housing units have already been built, and thousands more are awaiting construction.
The satellite images and data obtained by the agency documented for the first time the full impact of Trump’s policies, who earlier abandoned the decades-long opposition to building settlements and presented a plan to the Middle East that would have allowed Israel to keep these settlements and in the depths of the occupied West Bank.
According to the Israeli anti-settlement movement Peace Now, Israel built more than 9,200 new homes in the West Bank during the Trump years. This indicates an annual average increase of nearly 28% comparing to the settlement projects that were achieved during the era of President Barack Obama.
A few months ago, the organization described the decision of the Supreme Planning Committee of the Israeli Civil Administration to build 2,166 units in the occupied West Bank as a “blow to the hopes of achieving a broader Israeli-Arab peace.” Hagit Afran, a researcher at the organization, said, “Israel is making every effort to annex the West Bank and treat it as if it were part of Israel without leaving room for a Palestinian state.”