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What does the "settlement freeze" mean?

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  • What does the "settlement freeze" mean?

    IAF Maps Existing Construction, as Beit El Mayor Rips Up Order

    The Israel Air Force on Friday used its planes to conduct a flyover of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in order to photograph the current construction status in communities where the government's building freeze order is to go into effect beginning Sunday. Meanwhile, the stop building orders were being distributed to local authority heads on Friday and Saturday night - with one of the first to receive them, Beit El local authority head Moshe Rosenbaum, ripping it to shreds.
    The last time the IDF conducted a flyover to inspect Jewish building in Judea and Samaria was in June 2004. The photos were used to determine the borders of each community, after a commitment by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the United States that any construction would be done only within those borders. The photos were the basis of negotiations by Israel and the U.S. to determine what the "building line" in each community was.

    The new building freeze orders issued beginning Friday are far more serious, because they forbid any building whatsoever even something as simple as turning a porch into an enclosed room, or adding a floor to an existing home. Residents can, if they wish, request a special permit from the Civil Authority for such construction, which until now was granted by the local authority.

    Civil Authority officials began distributing the official orders instituting the building freeze on Friday. The freeze strips local authorities of powers to approve any building within the borders of the area under their jurisdiction, and prohibits construction on any site where a foundation for a building has not yet been dug even if the site has a building permit.
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