A Jewish settler holds his son on a vineyard belonging to the Jewish settlement of Mitzpe Kramim east of the West Bank city of Ramallah March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
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Settlements in Netanyahu's fourth termA day before his surprise election victory last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood against the backdrop of a construction site in Har Homa, a towering settlement in the occupied West Bank, and pledged to go on building.According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, Netanyahu's centrist predecessor Ehud Olmert began construction of 5,120 homes in West Bank settlements between 2006 and 2008 .Construction starts for 2014 increased by 40 percent over the previous year.Netanyahu's predecessors had kept construction going mostly in settlement blocs on the edge of the West Bank which Israel says it intends to keep in any peace deal.Peace Now's Settlement Watch director, Hagit Ofran, said Netanyahu had significantly increased construction deep inside the West Bank, making peace harder to achieve.More than 500,000 Israelis live on occupied land in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, among 2.8 million Palestinians. In the West Bank alone, the number of settlers has more than doubled since 1995 to over 350,000 .
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