Israel's settler population in the occupied West Bank grew nearly 3%
The report, released on Sunday by the pro-settler group WestBankJewishPopulationStats.com, found the settler population jumped to 517,407 as of 31 December, from 502,991 a year earlier.
The settler population has grown over 15 percent in the last five years, the report said. Last year, it passed the half-million mark.
This year’s report predicted "accelerated growth" in the coming years, claiming following Israel's war on Gaza, which reportedly persuaded many Israelis who were formerly opposed to settlement-building on occupied Palestinian land to change positions.
"Serious cracks have indeed developed in the wall of opposition to Jewish settlement of the West Bank," it said.
Israel occupied the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war.
The international community considers Israel’s settlements to be illegal and obstacles to peace by occupying land the Palestinians seek for their state.
The Biden administration and the UK recently sanctioned four settlers for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.
The report projected that if the growth rate over the past five years continues, the settler population in the West Bank will exceed 600,000 before 2030.
The report did not include population figures for East Jerusalem, where more than 200,000 Israelis live in settlements. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as their would-be capital.
Israel’s far-right government is dominated by settler leaders and supporters.
The Israeli watchdog group Terrestrial Jerusalem says that since the start of Israel’s war in Gaza on 7 October, three settlement plans were either approved or are about to be approved in east Jerusalem.
Terrestrial Jerusalem called the speed of settlement approval processes over the last few months "frenetic".
Since 7 October, Israel has held the West Bank under a tight grip - limiting movement and conducting frequent and violent raids and arrests, including against women and children.
Palestinian health officials say 391 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank during that period, including children.
Israeli rights group Yesh Din says settlers shot and killed nine Palestinians in just the first month and a half of the Gaza war, among 225 incidents of Israeli civilian violence the group documented during that time.