The Israeli group Peace Now and the Associated Press estimate construction on 550-600 new homes in Israeli settlements has begun since the freeze expired Sept. 26.
Israeli settlement monitors estimate that construction has begun on 500 new units – nearly one-quarter of the number for all of 2008 – as settlers try to make up for lost time.
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed US-Israeli closeness after a White House meeting Tuesday. But strains remain over Iran and the peace process.
Some see a risky 'one-state solution' as the only remaining option in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.