Washington, US: The Israeli rights group Peace Now and its sister organisation in the United States, Americans for Peace Now have jointly launched a mapping application for smartphones. Its aim is to make the situation better between Israel and Palestine.
The Facts on the Ground application provides an easily accessible overview of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, with up-to-date data on new building and population numbers. Green dots mark government-approved settlements, while red ones show where settlers have established settlement outposts without government permission. Each settlement is identified by name and there are details of when it was established and whether its residents are secular, religious or nationalists.
The application, which is available for free download, is aimed not just at the layman but at “policy makers, shapers and students”, said Ori Nir, spokesman for Americans for Peace Now. Nir added, “Even people who think they know what they are talking about don’t necessarily have a clear idea of the extent of the spread of settlements.”
A quick glance at the map shows just how far and wide the settlements have grown in the area. There are about 500,000 Jewish settlers in occupied Palestinian territory, including 200,000 in East Jerusalem.