Group appeals settlement construction freeze


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An organization that supports the right of Jews to live in the West Bank appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court to stop an announced construction freeze.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed an appeal Monday to cancel the government’s decision to impose a 10-month freeze on residential construction in the West Bank.

The group said in its appeal that the full Cabinet, not just the Security Cabinet, should make the decision on a freeze. It also argued that the freeze violates the rights of Jewish residents of the West Bank.

The appeal came a day after Defense Minister Ehud Barak charged his ministry with hiring 40 construction supervisors to add to the ministry’s supervisory staff of 14 to enforce the freeze.

Last Friday, Israel’s Civil Administration handed out orders to the council heads of West Bank communities to stop issuing construction permits. The Defense Ministry also used Air Force aircraft to take aerial photographs of the settlements to document current construction.


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