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.
Many Israelis suspect militant Israeli settlers, seeking to incite religious violence and undermine peace negotiations, attacked a Palestinian mosque near Bethlehem.
Israel has begun to enforce a 10-month freeze on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, sending officials out to construction sites to issue stop-work orders.
With women having an average of eight children each, the ultra-Orthodox communities of Beiter Illit and Modiin Illit are case studies in why the settlement issue is not getting any easier.
Israel's military prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged deliberate killing of women, children, and elderly noncombatants.