(JNS.org) There were 2,630 building starts for new homes in Judea and Samaria last year, a 40 percent increase from 1,884 in 2015, the Israeli financial news outlet Globes reported.
The peak for construction in Judea and Samaria, however, occurred in 2013, with 2,874 building starts. In 2016, building starts in Judea and Samaria accounted for 5 percent of all buildings starts in Israel. Approximately 420,000 Jews currently reside in Judea and Samaria, accounting for 4.8 percent of Israel’s total population.
The largest cities in the Judea and Samaria region are Modi’in Illit (65,000 residents), Beitar Illit (50,000), Maaleh Adumim (38,000) and Ariel (19,000).
The Globes report follows the recent release of a new study tracking Jewish population growth in Israel. The study indicates that the number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria has increased 23 percent during the past five years. According to the study’s organizers, the population figures eliminate the possibility of effectively implementing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.