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Plea to Supreme Court: What About Illegal Arab Construction?

Three petitions filed with the Supreme Court demand law enforcement on illegal Arab building in various Judea and southern Samaria locations.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/1/2009, 11:17 AM / Last Update: 12/1/2009, 11:23 AM

Tuvia Lerner

The Regavim Movement for the Preservation of the Nation’s Lands filed three petitions with the Supreme Court on Monday, demanding the enforcement of construction laws on illegal Arab building in various places throughout Judea and southern Samaria.

The illegal construction cited in the petitions is located outside Migron, Beit El, and Givat Assaf in the Binyamin region, as well as near Taibe, N’vei Daniel, located near Efrat, the Yakir Junction in northern Samaria and elsewhere.

Givat Assaf, For Instance
Givat Assaf is one example of Jewish homes coming under the threat of demolition while neighboring illegal Arab buildings remain standing. Givat Assaf was a large, empty expanse of land until just over 10 years ago, when the Ramallah-bypass highway was paved between Jerusalem and Beit El. Shortly afterwards, a continuation of the road was paved towards Ofrah, and the route towards Beit El became just a “turnoff” along the new highway. In order to create a Jewish presence at that critical juncture, an old bus was placed there and Torah studies were conducted. Gradually, the site became a full-fledged neighborhood, with 20 families now living there in small caravans under constant threat of demolition and evacuation.

At the same time, however, the open expanse towards the east gradually became dotted with huge Arab mansions – illegal and threatening Jewish control of the area but facing no danger of demolition.

It is this phenomenon that Regavim is seeking to stop. It asks the Supreme Court to enforce its own guideline, according to which the government may not claim it is enforcing illegal-building laws according to “priorities” where it is clear that no attempt was ever made to enforce the law.

The above guideline was established by the Supreme Court in a recent case regarding the Jewish outpost neighborhood of Haresha. It stipulates that the State must set a clear timetable for enforcing building laws in places where it is undisputed that the construction was carried out illegally.

This past month, in the framework of its activities on behalf of keeping Israeli land Jewish, Regavim filed another court suit against an illegal Arab “outpost” near Haresha and has protested against illegal Bedouin encampments in the Negev.