IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi has ordered to pause the uprooting of trees in the Jewish town of Nokdim in Gush Etzion.

Approximately three weeks ago, Civil Administration officials and police officers arrived at Nokdim and uprooted trees which were planted there. After the uprooting began, Nokdim residents filed an appeal, following which it was decided to pause the destruction, and the forces left the scene.

Yaron Rosenthal, newly-elected head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, planted trees together with residents after the Border Police and Civil Administration left the scene.

The one who attempted to prevent the uprooting was MK Simcha Rothman, who arrived at the scene and succeeded somewhat in delaying the destruction.

On Thursday morning, Ynet reported that the continuation of the uprooting is expected to take place in the coming days - a matter which created tension between the IDF and Minister in the Defense Ministry Bezalel Smotrich.

The Regulation Administration, founded by Smotrich, is what is currently preventing the uprooting from continuing. The matter then reached the Chief of Staff, who instructed to wait on the matter.

Last month, as Border Police officers gathered at Nokdim to uproot the trees, Rosenthal criticized the decision.

"It is worrying that in the middle of a war, when our forces are stretched to the limit, and while the Arab illegal construction is rampant, the Civil Administration chooses to send forces to uproot saplings in the heart of Nokdim. Someone here is confused,” he said then.

Rothman added, "Don't believe anyone who tells you that the IDF doesn't have enough manpower. Defense Minister Gallant sent 30 soldiers and officers in the middle of a fast to uproot a few trees in Nokdim. A few meters from here, the Palestinian Authority is building an entire city in the middle of a nature preserve in violation of the Oslo Accords, and the Civil Administration does nothing. We have gone completely crazy!"