Three years after it was ostensibly “legalized,” some 80 families are still waiting for permits to build homes in the community of Sansana.
Located in the Hevron Hills area, Sansana was one of three communities, along with Rechelim and Bruchin, to be “blessed” with legal status by the previous government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who claimed to have overruled then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak in order to raise the status of the communities.
But legal or not, prospective residents cannot get permits to build homes, they say – and on Monday dozens of them gathered outside the High Court in Jerusalem to protest the ongoing delays.
All three communities were built in the 1990s based on decisions of previous governments. The announcement means the communities will receive a legal status which hadn’t been given to them until now, and some of the Sansana residents, who have been living in caravans and other temporary quarters, have been waiting since 1998 to build permanent homes.
So far, the problem has been largely bureaucratic, as the government stingily and very slowly proceeded with the approval process that would allow residents to legally build homes. However, leftwing groups have been doing their best to stop residents from building homes as well, filing petitions with the Court complaining that the planning and approval process for the community is “incomplete.”
As is its custom when it comes to Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, the Court has issued an injunction against any work being done while it examines the matter.
Local council head Yochanan Damari said that the delays were “another attempt to prevent the development and settlement of the Land of Israel, using the High Court. Because of the injunction we cannot move forward with installation of water and electricity systems, which we are in dire need of. This is part of the struggle to settle the Land of Israel.”