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Activist: We Can Bypass Construction Freeze

Israel Lands Fund activist Aryeh King says he has a way to bypass the newly ordered construction freeze in Judea and Samaria.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 11/29/2009, 10:00 AM / Last Update: 11/29/2009, 12:26 PM

Israel Lands Fund activist Aryeh King is calling on Jews to circumvent the "discriminatory" 10-month ban on construction imposed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria .

Don't Build, Buy!
"I call on Jews who hesitate to build in order not to be put under the microscopes of the inspectors, to buy homes of Arabs," suggested King.  "I'm talking about thousands of buildings and luxury residential homes and houses scattered in throughout Judea and Samaria… that the inspectors could not prevent. The Defense Minister could prevent the purchase permit, but if you work by the book and buy homes, then it will be difficult to fight us. I call on people to continue to buy houses in order to escape the eyes of the anti-Jewish unit."

Mazuz's 'Grim Picture'
King condemned recent statements made by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz that there is a shortage of building inspectors available to ensure the Jews of Judea and Samaria do not build.

"Menachem Mazuz exposed the grim picture of the illegal building of Arabs in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem, as well as Bedouin building in the Negev," said King.  "To illustrate the discrimination, it should be noted that there are currently 3,000 building offenses carried out by Judean and Samarian Jews being investigated by 16 inspectors from the special anti-Jewish unit of the civil administration whose goal is to catch Jews. Juxtapose that to [Arab] eastern Jerusalem, in which 26,000 building violations are being investigated by just 6 inspectors from the Jerusalem municipality. In the Galilee, 18,000 building violations are being investigated by just 8 inspectors."

Regarding inspectors who have been trained specifically to catch Jews, King said, "These are quality folks that were put on to the task of nabbing Jews in illegal development inside blue lines and open areas – they're not going into Areas B and C in the event of illegal Arab construction."

King also decried the relentless persecution of Jews who conduct illegal building, and said Jews are specifically targeted, as juxtaposed to Arabs who are sometimes not administered over at all.

"Menachem Mazuz is right about the shortage of inspectors, but I suggest he first compare the situation to that which prevails in eastern Jerusalem.  The Jerusalem municipality and the Interior Ministry are supposed to halt the illegal building in Jerusalem, and there are whole neighborhoods they won't even go into."  King referred to the Arab neighborhoods of Qalandia and Shuafat, in which he said he personally submitted requests for building investigations to the authorities, but received no "appropriate response."

King also accused inspectors of intensifying their conduct toward Jews for political motives.  "The inspection unit of the Ministry of Defense was instructed to worsen and increase their enforcement against Jews, prompted by Defense Minister [Ehud] Barak, seemingly to strengthen the Labor Party [of which Barak is a member]."