The Defense Ministry announced Thursday it will amend the order to freeze all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria and will allow residents to build additions to their homes. Repairs and renovations to residential buildings will also be permitted.
In addition, builders will be permitted to complete construction of those homes in which the foundations had been poured before the freeze order went into effect.
The ministerial committee, which included Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor) and Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin (Likud) authorized the Civil Administration head, Brigadier-General Zev Mordechai to implement the amendments. “The committee realized the written orders that were issued were inconsistent with that which was decided by the Cabinet,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. “Hence these amendments.”
National Union MK Aryeh Eldad was less than impressed with the announcement, however. “The so-called concessions on the freeze that were published may reduce the wave of lawsuits by the hundreds of millions of shekels by those who were hurt by the madness of the system used by the government,” he said. “But these concessions aren’t yet being translated into facts on the ground.
“The building inspectors continue to run wild, and the appeals committees go through the motions. From now on, it is not enough to get planning permits and receipts for payment for work; the committee also wants authorization from lawyers. These are unreasonable demands despite the easing of the restrictions by Barak and the army, who act like a state within a state."