The Jerusalem Post
January 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Construction is continuing in the Samaria community of Kiryat Netafim despite the government's ten-month building moratorium in West Bank settlements, Army Radio reported Friday morning. According to the report, development has continued on some 15 illegal structures.

The report said the ongoing construction appeared to be in defiance not only of the freeze, but of a High Court of Justice ruling of a year ago.

In answer to an inquiry from grassroots left-wing organization Peace Now, the government responded that its civilian monitoring unit was lacking in manpower to enforce the court's decision.

But Peace Now was unwilling to accept the government's answer, the Army Radio report quoted Peace Now General Secretary Yariv Oppenheimer as saying.

"There must be action against the settlers violating the law over and over again," he said, adding that "we expect the Defense Ministry to act decisively and resolutely against everyone who violates a Supreme Court order and to bring those responsible for this to justice."

Oppenheimer, the report went on, said that there could not be a situation in which certain communities had illegal structures demolished while others were able to continue building at will.

Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika explained that work was being done only in order to enable residents reasonable lives.

"Those buildings were inhabited prior to the decision of the High Court of Justice, and in cases in which a family was living with an unfinished roof, it was finished. Work was not executed beyond that carried out for safety reasons or which enabled families to get through the winter," the report quoted him as saying.

The state said that the monitors had acted efficiently even though they were unable to carry out all their assignments.


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