One can be forgiven for looking away briefly from the West Bank – with the recent announcement of £30m to be donated to Gaza by Britain and the realization that tons of metal pieces are circulating precariously above, eyes were momentarily diverted.
Now trained back, it transpires progress of a whole other kind is taking place as the Israeli government announces plans to construct at least 73,300 new housing units in the West Bank.
At the moment, 8,950 units have already been built, 15,000 have been approved, and the rest remain in the planning stages.
Of those, 5,700 will be located in eastern Jerusalem and 19,000 are to be located beyond the security barrier.
The housing could double the size of existing settlements such as Betar Illit, Ariel, Givat Ze’ev, Efrat, Geva Binyamin, and Maale Adumim, and increase the settler population in the territories to 300,000.
That’s a hell of a lot of forboding noughts.