Report: Hebron Hills construction continuing

3 families reportedly enter new neighborhood where 10 new housing units built, dozens more planned.

fence 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
fence 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Three families have entered a new neighborhood being built in the southern Hebron Hills despite the fact that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has issued a directive to halt construction in Judea and Samaria, Israel Radio reported Thursday. According to the report, ten new housing units have almost been completed and dozens more are planned in the new neighborhood, located outside the boundaries of Karmel. Head of the Hebron Hills Council, Tzviki Bar Chai, said that it was impossible to stop the expansion of Jewish neighborhoods and "strangle them." "Children want to live near their families," he told Israel Radio. "We therefore saw it right to continue the construction in Hebron Hills neighborhoods, which will continue to grow." In response, Peace Now issued a statement lamenting the fact that despite orders from the prime minister to freeze construction, settlers were building hundreds of housing units in the West Bank. "Olmert's orders are apparently not being implemented," read the statement by the left-wing group, which called on the prime minister to enforce the construction freeze and start evacuating illegal outposts. Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim hit back at the criticism, saying that construction of the new housing units inhabited this week started two years ago and were therefore not considered new apartments.