Report: Israeli settler population surged during Trump era

By JOSEPH KRAUSSyesterday

FILE – This June 30, 2020 file photo, shows the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Efrayim in the Jordan Valley. West Bank Jewish Population Stats, a pro-settler group says Israel’s West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years, a period coincides with the Trump administration’s unprecedented acceptance of settlement activity. The Palestinians and much of the international community view the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years, a pro-settler group said Wednesday, a period that coincides with the Trump administration’s unprecedented acceptance of settlement activity.

The report by West Bank Jewish Population Stats shows the settler population growing by around 13% since the start of 2017 to reach 475,481. During the same period, Israel’s population grew by around 8% to reach nearly 9.3 million, according to the government.

The group’s report, which is based on official government data, does not include annexed east Jerusalem, home to more than 200,000 settlers.

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