The Civil Administration approved Wednesday the construction of 505 new housing units
and legalized 190 units previously built in the West Bank settlement of Shilo.
A Defense Ministry official said that any further construction
would call for the government's approval and therefore they do not expect any other units to be built anytime soon. The ministry also stated that the existing housing units were not built on private lands but rather on State-owned land.
The Civil Administration's approval was granted following a petition filed by Peace Now claiming that the housing unites in question were illegal. The State was pressed to provide the court with an official answer and worked to get the necessary permits – even post factum.
"It wouldn't have happened without the petition," the settlers said.
A Defense Ministry official clarified the plan does not include any permits to build new housing units: "According to the High Court of Justice, the Defense Ministry had ordered the Civil Administration to complete their plans in Shvut Rachel and Shilo – legal settlements on State lands," the official noted.
"The plan is meant to regulate an existing situation regarding units which were previously built and the potential of future construction according to the existing design, which will need to be approved individually in the future… It has been clarified that any future construction requires the approval of the political echelon."