In the first move of its kind, the IDF early Wednesday morning destroyed three housing starts in the Revava settlements where building was ongoing, in violation of the 10-month moratorium on new construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Since the moratorium was imposed at the end of November, the Civil Administration with the help of border police and the IDF has issued stop work orders and inspected compliance in all the West Bank settlements.
But Wednesday’s action marks a shift in the Civil Administration’s enforcement action. A spokesman said that it had entered Revava along with the IDF to take apart the three housing starts.
The spokesman said that the Civil Administration had warned settlers that it would destroy housing starts illegally constructed in defiance of the moratorium and that it would continue to take such action.
The move comes just days after a letter from Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i said that violations of the moratorium had been found in 29 settlements, including Revava which is located in Samaria.
Na’ama Wachnish, a spokeswoman for Revava, said that four housing starts had been destroyed by security forces and that no work had been conducted at those sites since the start of the moratorium.
The four housing starts, she said, were part of a 20 housing units project that had been approved by the Defense Ministry.
One third of the project had been frozen as a result of the moratorium, she said. No demolition orders were handed out to the residents and no warning was given that the four sites were in violation of the moratorium, Wachnish said.
The security forces entered the settlement “in the darkness of night and fled in the darkness,” she said. “No one saw them,” she added.
The security patrol would normally have noticed something, but the settlement’s security jeep was being repaired and the foot patrol didn’t reach the back end of the settlement where the security forces and the IDF were destroying the housing starts.
The security forces took the settlement’s security camera, she alleged, and added that such a move endangered the safety of the residents.