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.