JERUSALEM – An Israeli settler leader says the number of settlers in the West Bank grew at nearly twice the rate of Israel's overall population last year.
Yaakov Katz says the settler population reached over 435,000 people last year, up 3.4 percent from the previous year. In comparison, Israel's overall population grew 1.8 percent.
Katz says he expects even more construction now that President Donald Trump is in office. Trump's Mideast team is dominated by settler allies, and Katz says there is a friendly atmosphere after eight contentious years with the Obama White House.
"We have to thank God he sent Trump to be president of the United States," he said.
Katz's "West Bank Jewish Population Stats" is based on official government data and sponsored by Bet-El Institutions, a prominent settler organization.