Barak eases settlement freeze orders

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An order issued by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will allow local West Bank municipal councils to authorize home renovations and public infrastructure work.

The update of the 10-month freeze on new West Bank construction was issued Thursday evening.

The new order stated that regional councils will now be allowed to approve "additions, repairs or changes in existent residential structures, without adding new living units."

In response to the decision, Efrat Council head Oded Avivi was quoted as saying on the Ynet Web site, "We are talking about semantics; it does not bring any new message."
 

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