During the past year, and even more so since the end of the settlement freeze in October 2010, the settlers have started work on dozens of new illegal residential units in the settlement Shilo. The plans for the new neighborhoods were never approved, and did not get the required authorization from the Ministry of Defense.
Peace Now appealed to the authorities, which continued stalling and playing for time while nothing was done. Meanwhile the construction continues and the houses will soon be populated.
The Authorities’ Involvement in the Construction
According to the sign posted up at the construction site, three bodies are involved with the construction project: the settler’s organization “Amana”, the Matte Binyamin Regional Council, and the Ministry of Housing.
On December 20, 2010, Peace Now reported the illegal construction in Shilo to the head of the Civilian Administration. A month later, on January 19, the civilian administration’s legal advisor responded, claiming that the supervising unit had difficulties locating and identifying the illegal construction. It should be mentioned that in Shilo there are currently only three construction sites – all of them illegal (there are two other sites in the Shvut Rachel outpost, which is sometimes considered a neighborhood of Shilo, and they are illegal as well). Nonetheless, the supervisors were incapable of identifying the illegal construction site. Immediately after receiving this answer, on January 20th, Peace Now responded with a letter detailing the exact location of the illegal construction.
Three weeks later, on February 6th, the administration’s response arrived, directing us to the Ministry of the Interior and to the Matte Binyamin Regional Council, which is responsible for law enforcement in the areas under its sovereignty. But here is the catch – according to the signs on site, the Matte Binyamin Regional Council is itself responsible for the illegal construction – and the groundwork is done by the Company for the Development of Matte Binyamin, which belongs to the council.
After a second letter and three weeks later, on February 27th, the legal advisor responded once again referring us to the Matte Binyamin Regional Council.
The illegal construction sites in Shilo: