Middle East

Settler leader: Population growth is end of 2-state solution

  • FILE -- In this Jan. 22, 2017 file photo, the Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim looms over Arab Bedouin shacks in the West Bank, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. Yaakov Katz, a prominent West Bank settler, said Sunday, March 26, 2017, that the number of Israelis living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people. Katz says the rapid growth means the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is now impossible. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

    FILE -- In this Jan. 22, 2017 file photo, the Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim looms over Arab Bedouin shacks in the West Bank, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. Yaakov Katz, a prominent West Bank settler, said Sunday, March 26, 2017, that the number of Israelis living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people. Katz says the rapid growth means the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is now impossible. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • File - This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 file photo shows Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in a new housing project in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem. The number of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one-quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people, a prominent settler leader said Sunday, presenting new population figures that he said put to rest the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

    File - This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 file photo shows Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in a new housing project in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem. The number of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one-quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people, a prominent settler leader said Sunday, presenting new population figures that he said put to rest the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • File -- In this Jan. 22, 2017 file photo, workers carry material at a construction site in the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Yaakov Katz, a prominent West Bank settler, said Sunday, March 26, 2017, that the number of Israelis living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people. Katz says the rapid growth means the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is now impossible. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

    File -- In this Jan. 22, 2017 file photo, workers carry material at a construction site in the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Yaakov Katz, a prominent West Bank settler, said Sunday, March 26, 2017, that the number of Israelis living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people. Katz says the rapid growth means the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is now impossible. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)  (The Associated Press)

A prominent West Bank settler says the number of Israelis living in the West Bank has soared by nearly one quarter over the past five years to over 420,000 people.

Yaakov Katz says the rapid growth means the internationally backed idea of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is now impossible.

"We are talking about a situation that is unchangeable," he said Sunday. "It's very important to know the numbers, and the numbers are growing."

He spoke as the Israeli government is locked in negotiations with the Trump administration over understandings that are expected to include some limits on settlement construction.

Katz says his numbers are based on official government data that have not yet been made public.