JERUSALEM, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Peace Now report Wednesday accused the Netanyahu government of deliberately undermining a two-state solution by approving settlement construction.
The report, "Settlements and the Netanyahu Government," asserts since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took office March 31, 2009, the government's policies and actions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem show a "clear intention to use settlements to systematically undermine and render impossible a realistic, viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria and Gaza welcomed the Peace Now report.
"We welcome the documentation of the settlement industry by Peace Now, and hope in the coming years the building will flourish, double and triple," the Hebrew language Maariv newspaper quoted the council as saying.
Peace Now said the current government has permitted the construction of some 6,867 new housing units in settlements but noted some had been approved by previous governments.
Peace Now said in the first two years of the Netanyahu government, virtually no building tenders were issued in the settlements, however, once the 10-month settlement moratorium expired in September 2010, "the Netanyahu government opened the floodgates on settlement tenders."
In the past two years the government has issued tenders for 4,469 housing units in West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem, the report said. In recent weeks the government announced plans to issue tenders for 3,000 additional units. In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Construction published a list of tenders to be issued shortly for the construction of 1,216 housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the report said.
The Peace Now movement constantly monitors settlement activity and is a staunch supporter of the two-state solution, which it says is the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.