Settlers to appeal stop-work orders at special hearing

Settlers to appeal stop-

revava civil administration settlers 248 (photo credit: )
revava civil administration settlers 248
(photo credit: )
After two years of waiting, Ortal Gavra, 26, got a permit for her new home in the Tekoa settlement last Tuesday, just hours before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that all new building in Judea and Samaria would be frozen. The young mother of two was initially unaware that international politics had thrown a monkey wrench into her dreams. "I have thought about the house so often. I can imagine what each room will look like," she told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. As Netanyahu spoke, she slept, having gone to bed early musing about her new home. The next morning she woke up to a harsh new reality. On Wednesday morning, she and her husband Avshalom, 30, will join dozens of home owners and contractors who plan to go to a Civil Administration hearing to appeal the stop work orders they received on Monday. A native of Tekoa, located just outside of Jerusalem in the Gush Etzion area, Gavra said she had wanted to build a new home immediately after she got married three years ago, but there were no available lots. Instead they rented and hoped that a home of their own would soon be possible. Two years ago, the couple was able to acquire rights to a half dunam lot as part of a new project that had opened up, but they had to go through multiple bureaucratic hoops. As a result, the project was approved only half a year ago but the couple was only notified of the decision just last month, Gavra said. Gavra only received the actual permit to start building on November 24. On November 25, as she brought in a surveyor and arranged for the contractor to come with his tractor, neighbors informed her of what had happened. "Did you hear what Bibi said?" The neighbors asked. She had to admit that she had missed it, but she caught up fast, as that same day, the Security Cabinet approved the building freeze and on Thursday night the IDF issued an edict that turned it into law. Still, she said, she did not truly believe that it would include her and her husband until Civil Administration inspectors arrived at the site on Monday and handed them a stop work order. They were so aggressive, she said, as if she and her husband had broken the law, when all along they had done their utmost to do everything by the book. Worse, she said, they confiscated the contractor's tractor, which they have not yet returned. Gavra said they are paying for each day the tractor is there. The entire situation, she said, brought back bad memories of the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza. Her brother was evacuated from the Gush Katif settlement of Kfar Darom. "We were with him the whole time," she said. The entry of Civil Administration inspectors into her settlement on Monday morning, she said, reminded her of those days. What hurt her the most, she said, was the manner in which she has been treated, something that she hopes will change once she meets with the Civil Administration on Wednesday. "We hope they will care and try to hear us," Gavra said. She and her husband are not among those who have sworn to ignore the law. They are and intend to be, she said, law abiding citizens. "Its a shame that the nation which we feel an allegiance too, has treated us in this way," Gavra added.