"I hadn't poured the foundations, so they would not let me complete the work," said Zaken, a Jerusalem-based contractor who employs 70 Israeli and Palestinian workers. He has already sunk NIS 10m. into the project.
He immediately turned to the civil administration to contest the order, but had to wait a week for a hearing because the appeals committee had yet to be set up.
The administration, he said, agreed that he could proceed with work on 24 of the units, but not on the remaining 43. It's a move, said Zaken, that jeopardizes the whole project.
His attorney, his daughter Hadar, said that the appeal committee gave them a number at the Defense Ministry to address the issue of compensation.
Hadar said she called in vain a number of times only to discover that there is no committee.
On Thursday, when The Jerusalem Post called that same number, it was told that the committee had not yet been set up, but that it was taking down names and phone numbers of those who would like to apply for compensation.
On Wednesday, the state also told the High Court of Justice that the committee was not yet functional.
The Defense Ministry told the Post that the committee would soon be operational, although it did not yet have a date...
...MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), who is compiling a cost estimate for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, has estimated that the losses could run as high as NIS 1 billion...