Stop-work orders issued at Gilad Farm outpost

Civil Administration: Move to prevent illegal construction at Gilad Farm, no plans to evacuate.

ConstructionWorkers224.8 (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria issued 14 stop-work orders against ongoing illegal construction at the Gilad Farm outpost on Wednesday. Located in the Samaria Regional Council area, Gilad Farm is one of 26 outposts built after March 2001 that Israel had promised the United States it would remove. But the civil administration told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the stop-work orders were intended to prevent illegal construction at the outpost, and were not a preliminary step toward any evacuation. His words did not reassure Esther Karish, a spokeswoman for the Samaria Citizens' Committee, who said that tensions remained high in her area in anticipation of an impending evacuation. "There are all kinds of rumors of IDF actions," she told the Post. The fear is that the IDF will move in quickly, as it did last winter when it evacuated the Beit Hashalom building in Hebron, said Karish. "They are trying to come in secret, destroy and then run," she said. The last thing a right-wing government wants is photographs of people being taken out of their homes, she added. In June, settlers and right-wing activists burned tires and blocked roads in Samaria upon hearing reports of an impending outpost evacuation. At this stage, however, Karish said, there is also a great deal of fear that the IDF will also move against illegal construction in the settlements themselves. Gilad Farm, which is owned by the Zar family, is located outside of Kedumim. It was erected in memory of Gilad Zar, who was killed by a Palestinian sniper in May 2001 as he drove near the Yitzhar junction. It was evacuated in 2002, but it has been rebuilt since and is now home to 20 families, a yeshiva and a small factory. Samaria Regional Council Chairman Gershon Mesika had no comment on the injunctions.