This post has been cross posted on Harry's Place
What is the point of this pettiness ?
Israel halts football stadium construction in West Bank
Israel has ordered construction work on an internationally financed football stadium being built for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to be halted.
Palestinian municipal authorities in al-Bireh, near Ramallah, have been told they lack the correct permit to build.
This is because Israel has designated some of the plot for the planned stadium as under its exclusive control.
If Palestinian officials do not comply with the order, Israel could demolish the arena.
This kind of thing just needlessly aggravates world opinion for no purpose.
PS - more in Haaretz :
The question is: Why, all of a sudden, more than three years after construction of the entire project began and 10 months after construction of the stands started, has the Civil Administration decided to halt the work?
Ziv Nishri, the Israeli contractor who built the field, said in a telephone conversation: "The army knew about the project because it's impossible to do anything without the Civil Administration's approval. FIFA is the body dealing with the foreign minister. Without the umbrella of the Foreign Ministry, the army and the Civil Administration, nothing would be happening here."
When Nishri heard about the stop-work order this week, he was very surprised. "The plans for the stands are at least two years old. Even before we started on the project, I had the general plans for the stands, because we designed the field to fit them."
Officials at Al-Bireh city hall see a connection between the stop-work order, and the Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table as long as Israel does not freeze construction in the settlements, as well as the recent announcement by Prime Minister Fayyad of the planned consolidation of various Palestinian state institutions. The officials and local activists agree with Samih al-Abed when he says: "This is a typical kind of Israeli pressure, which means: 'Either you go back to negotiations or we'll punish you. We'll do whatever we can to upset your lives.'"