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  Updated: October 5, 2006

West Bank settlements grow during war on Lebanon

By: Ahmed Hammadi

HELD JERUSALEM: A watchdog group said that with media attention focused on the Lebanon war, Israeli wildcat settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank have mushroomed in recent months.

Some 31 outposts sprang up in the West Bank as work on developing infrastructure, access routes as well as the installation of new mobile homes has steamed ahead in violation of the internationally backed roadmap for peace, the anti-settlement Peace Now watchdog said.

There are 105 wildcat outposts in the occupied West Bank according to official data.

Under the terms of the roadmap, Israel was meant to freeze all settlement construction in the West Bank.

According to statistics published by the interior ministry last month the number of Israelis living in the occupied West Bank, excluding annexed east Jerusalem, has increased by 2.7 percent to 260,042 during the past six months.    

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