Court orders halt to construction in Israeli settlement

January 24th, 2011 - 11:01 pm ICT by BNO News  

WEST BANK (BNO NEWS) — An Israeli court on Monday ordered the halt of the construction of five apartment buildings in the Israeli settlement of Beit El, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The High Court of Justice ordered the halt as the buildings were being built on private Palestinian land. The Beit El local council was also ordered not to connect the buildings to the infrastructure.

The Palestinian owner filed a petition in the Court which will be enforced immediately. However, the construction continues as the state acknowledged that it had issued stop work and demolition orders but had done nothing to implement them.

The state’s representative, Hila Gorni, said that they do not have the necessary resources to carry out the orders. Beit El is located in the Benjamin region of the central West Bank.

In another hearing, Palestinian farmers from the villages of Ein Yabrud and Silwad complained against the illegal fences built by Jewish settlers. The court ordered the removal of the fences as it blocked the farmers from accessing their land.

The illegal fences were built by settlers around Ofra and other Jewish settlements in the area claiming security needs. However, the court ordered the removal fot eh fences which are not essential for security.

The High Court granted the state 90 days to complete an examination of the situation in the settlement and determine which fences should be removed.

In September 2010, the settlement freeze moratorium expired, ending the 10-month construction halt in the disputed territories. As a result, settlement construction was resumed in the disputed West Bank area.

The U.S., as part of the efforts to resume Israel-Palestine peace talks, offered a set of incentives in exchange for extending the settlement freeze moratorium for three months.

In December, the U.S. announced that it ended negotiations attempting to reach an extension from Israel. The U.S. said that it was unable to met Israel’s demands. On the other hand, Netanyahu remarked that he supports a two-state solution and blamed Palestine for the lack of agreement.

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