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Secret Israel Housing Boom Defies Settlement Discord: Mortgages

When David and Rivka Wietchner bought a home in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Har Bracha, they swooned over the mountain view, the embracing community and the 375,000-shekel ($106,000) price of a six-room apartment.

Two years later, the Israeli parents of three were even more delighted to discover their home would now sell for about 500,000 shekels, or 33 percent more. Boosted by rising demand, home prices are surging in Har Bracha, Hebrew for the Mountain of Blessing, and other remote settlements in the northern West Bank, even though they’re the most likely to be torn down in any peace deal with the Palestinians.