barak I is a tough mothafucka 248.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
As settlers vowed to defy government orders against new construction projects in Judea and Samaria, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered his staff to triple the number of civil administration inspectors so that the new edict could be properly enforced.
The Defense Ministry in the next two weeks plans to hire 40 new inspectors to reinforce the 14 who already work for the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.
The civil administration has said that without the additional inspectors, it could not enforce last week's security cabinet decision to freeze any project in the settlements that has not yet broken ground.
In the last three days the IDF distributed injunctions to 24 local and regional council heads, stripping them of their power to issue construction permits and ordering them to enforce the new building rules.
Settler leaders have said they plan to ignore the orders and continue building.
Facing the largest crackdown on Jewish West Bank construction in the history of the settlement movement, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip held two emergency meetings at the end of last week, and plans to hold another one Monday.
Spokesman Yishai Hollander said the council will likely hold a number of symbolic cornerstone-laying ceremonies in the next week, but that a delineated plan would be drawn up only at Monday's meeting.
When an officer from the civil administration arrived at his office on Sunday morning to hand him the building injunction, Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika tore it up in front of him.
"This decision is racist, immoral and illegal and therefore invalid," Mesika said.
He noted that he had received the injunction on the anniversary of the historic United Nations vote that created the Jewish state.
"It's a sad day that on November 29, the Israeli prime minister elected by the national camp on the basis of an explicit platform that supported building in Judea and Samaria, forbids Jews from building in their ancestral homeland," while a the same time turning a blind eye to illegal Arab construction.
Even extremist left-wing governments never went this far, he said, adding, "the Jewish nation will continue to build here, with or without Netanyahu."
But despite their frustration with the prime minister, settler leaders hope to sit down with Netanyahu in the middle of the week.
Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman said he has asked his legal adviser to prepare a High Court petition questioning the injunctions' legality.
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu), who opposed the measure in the security cabinet, told The Jerusalem Post he had sent a letter to the cabinet secretary asking that the matter be brought to a full cabinet vote.
"This is a major issue on the state's agenda and it is vital that all the ministers be allowed to express their position," Landau said.
He warned that the 10-month settlement moratorium had created the impression abroad that the Jewish state does not want Judea and Samaria.
"When you look at [King] Solomon's trial, you see both women fighting for the child, and the feeling is that we're acting as though the child is not ours," Landau said.