Daily Israel Report

State to Court: Illegal Mosque Must be Sealed

The official State position is that an illegal mosque in Burin, south of Shechem and near Brun, must be sealed. So it informed the Supreme Court.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/21/2011, 4:35 PM / Last Update: 2/21/2011, 4:26 PM

Ishi Chazani, Mirkam Studio

 

The official State position is that an illegal mosque in Burin - just south of Shechem (Nablus) and in between Yitzhar and Bracha - must be sealed. So it has informed the Supreme Court.

The illegality of the mosque was first raised six months ago by the Regavim Movement for the Preservation of the Nation’s Lands. It filed a mirror lawsuit against the ongoing illegal construction of the mosque, in response to a decision in which a synagogue in nearby El-Matan was deemed illegal and ordered sealed.

The State, in this case, agrees with Regavim. “The State is of the opinion that the Burin Council must seal the mosque,” the State informed the Court on Sunday. The Supreme Court issued a stop-work order against the mosque two weeks ago, but work continued unabated. In light of the court order's violation, the State’s position now is that the entire mosque must be sealed – and not just the minaret, as the town of Burin had offered.

Attorney Hila Gorni, representing the State, confirmed the Regavim positions regarding the illegality of the construction and the need for enforcement vis-à-vis the criminal construction. The police have opened a criminal investigation against the builders of the mosque.

Regavim responded: “After many months of elusiveness, the State has finally admitted for the first time that the illegally-built mosque must be totally sealed. Justice must be done, and must also be seen. We hope that the court will act to ensure equal enforcement with the same efficiency and speed in which the State and Court acted regarding the El-Matan synagogue, and will make sure the State does not avoid its obligation to enforce the law.”

In other Regavim news, it recently filed a suit with the Supreme Court, together with Peace Now, against government agencies and the Druze town of Majdal Shams for serious building code violations at the foot of Mt. Hermon in the north. Last week, it succeeded in obtaining a Supreme Court order to all but close an illegal Arab-run quarry in Gush Etzion.