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IAF Maps Existing Construction, as Beit El Mayor Rips Up Order

The stop building orders were being distributed Friday and Saturday night - and Beit El local authority head Moshe Rosenbaum ripped his to shreds.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/28/2009, 8:15 PM / Last Update: 11/28/2009, 9:34 PM

Israel News Photo: IDF


The new building freeze orders are far more serious, because they forbid any building whatsoever – even something as simple as turning a porch into an enclosed room, or adding a floor to an existing home.
The Israel Air Force on Friday used its planes to conduct a flyover of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – in order to photograph the current construction status in communities where the government's building freeze order is to go into effect beginning Sunday. Meanwhile, the stop building orders were being distributed to local authority heads on Friday and Saturday night - with one of the first to receive them, Beit El local authority head Moshe Rosenbaum, ripping it to shreds.

The IDF has conducted many flyovers like this in the past – but usually over enemy territory, such as Gaza, in order to locate terror bases where bombs and rockets are being prepared for use against Israel.

The last time the IDF conducted a flyover to inspect Jewish building in Judea and Samaria was in June 2004. The photos were used to determine the borders of each community, after a commitment by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the United States that any construction would be done only within those borders. The photos were the basis of negotiations by Israel and the U.S. to determine what the "building line" in each community was.

The new building freeze orders issued beginning Friday are far more serious, because they forbid any building whatsoever – even something as simple as turning a porch into an enclosed room, or adding a floor to an existing home. Residents can, if they wish, request a special permit from the Civil Authority for such construction, which until now was granted by the local authority.

Civil Authority officials began distributing the official orders instituting the building freeze on Friday. The freeze strips local authorities of powers to approve any building within the borders of the area under their jurisdiction, and prohibits construction on any site where a foundation for a building has not yet been dug – even if the site has a building permit.

Among the first local authority heads to receive the orders was Beit El's Rosenbaum , who took the orders and ripped them up. In an interview with Arutz 7, Rosenbaum said he spoke to the director of Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu's office, Eyal Gabai, and told him that to remind Netanyahu that he needed to keep his promises to voters. "This freeze is shameful," said Rosenbaum. "In the British 'White Paper' there were severe restrictions on the sale of land to Jews, and here a Jewish leader in the state of Israel has undertaken a similar racist policy. I am shocked by this decision," Rosenbaum said.