Is Civil Administration Building Illegally?

The same administration that is quick to tear down illegal Jewish structures may have to tear down its own building.

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Gil Ronen,

Jordan River
Jordan River
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The IDF Civil Administration's inspectors are quick to tear down every Jewish outpost established in Judea and Samaria, but it now turns out the Administration itself may have engaged in illegal construction. 

David Lahiani, Bik'at HaYarden [Jordan Valley] local authority head, told IDF Radio that the Civil Administration has built an illegal structure at Kasr Al Yahud, a site on the Jordan River. Jewish tradition holds that the site is where the Israelites under Joshua's leadership crossed the Jordan into Canaan, while Christians believe it is where Jesus was baptized.

Lahiani said that the structure was built by Civil Administration officials without the required approvals. He castigated them for not standing up to the standards they themselves enforce regarding others.

The Administration reportedly has given instructions to freeze the construction, and an internal investigation has been launched in order to examine the matter. The Civil Administration has yet to offer its version of the events.

Regavim, an NGO that deals with Jewish land rights, called the matter "a serious affair that lights a red warning light over the entire law enforcement array in Judea and Samaria."

MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) called on the Head of the Administration to resign. "The same chairman who is such a stickler for detail with the settlers, destroys homes and evicts children in the dead of night, flouts the very laws that he is responsible for enforcing," he said.