An Israeli government spokesman at the weekend confirmed recent complaints by Jewish leaders in Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") that the natural growth of their communities is being intentionally stifled in compliance with international and Arab demands.
The spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that building permits for a mere 260 units had been issued in 2007, and none of those were issued over the past five months despite the fact that recent statistic showed the "settler" population is growing three times faster than any other sector of Israeli society.
The Palestinian Authority has threatened to scuttle an upcoming US-hosted peace summit unless Israel freezes all settlement expansion, including natural growth.
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