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Mar 26, 2:06 PM EDT

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


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JERUSALEM (AP) -- 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.

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