The High Court of Justice issued an interim order to stop construction efforts in the settlement of Halamish-Neve Tzuf on Sunday. The judges' decision follows a petition filed in early May by the left-wing 'Peace Now' movement.
The order, signed by Justice Edna Arbel, specifies that all work must cease on the structures discussed in the case. The order further states that the buildings could not be sold or populated.
The Peace Now petition asked the court order Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Central Command chief, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, to take any action necessary to freeze the construction of the ten or more permanent structures being built in the center of the Halamish-Neve Tzuf settlement in the West Bank.
The petition questioned by stop-work and demolition orders were not issued and enforced by Barak's office. The organization also demanded to know why the necessary steps have not yet been taken to investigate and begin legal proceedings against those responsible for the illegal project.
According to the petition, the permanent structures were built on land belonging to the state.
Attorney Michael Sfard, who is representing Peace Now, says that the construction was carried out without building permits and that the project is in contradiction with the existing plans for the area.
"As with all the cases of illegal construction carried out by Jewish residents in the West Bank, here too the arm of the law is absent and furthermore, the plaintiff's attempts to alert (law enforcement agencies) of the developing situation were ignored," said Sfard.
The petition further asserted that Barak and Shamni have failed to enforce zoning and construction laws in the area under their jurisdiction, this despite their pledges to do so.