There has been a big rise in Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank, according to a report by the Israeli group Peace Now.
The anti-settlement watchdog says construction was up 70 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2012.
“The fact that we see on the ground ongoing construction is like a slap in the face of the Palestinians” said Hagit Ofran, Peace Now’s Settlement Watch Director. “It is like two sides negotiating how to divide a pizza and one side continues to eat it.”
Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered illegal by most countries. Palestinian leaders often cite settlement expansion on land they seek for a state as the main obstacle to a Middle East peace agreement.