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Changes in the milk industry - including abolishing the Milk Council and milk producers' exemption from antitrust laws - have been put on hold after Supreme Court Judge Mishael Cheshin Sunday stopped the government from proceeding until an appeal is heard.

The Milk Council, Tnuva and Tara dairies filed an appeal against the changes proposed by the Finance and Agriculture Ministries. The claimed these would compel the dairies to pay milk producers an extra 5 percent and they canceled an earlier proposed reform in the sector. The reforms had been welcomed by the petitioners, and, according to the appeal, its cancelation had caused a massive freeze of investment in the milk industry.

The dairies and milk producers argued in their appeal that a dispute between the two government ministries was harming the sector by millions of shekels and that the situation was "intolerable."

They further claimed that the latest changes were proposed unilaterally by the Agriculture Ministry and came before a specially-formed government committee into the sector had completed its investigation.

Although the judge yesterday ruled that the government could not proceed with its proposed changes until the appeal had been heard, it did not accede to the petitioner's request for an injunction to forbid the government from making decisions on structural changes in the sector.

would take seven years to repay according to the projected rental income fromthe lots.

Delek-Belron International used to be listed on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, but the Delek group repurchased all its shares two years ago. It still has bonds traded on the TASE.