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Roeh May Face Criminal Probe for Sewage Treatment

The head of the Binyamin region expects a police investigation for building a sewage plant. His response: I did it, and I’m not sorry.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/29/2012, 11:38 AM

Ofra
Ofra
Flash 90

Avi Roeh, the head of the Binyamin Regional Council, has told employees that police are likely to open an investigation against him in the near future, regarding a sewage treatment plant built in the town of Ofra, north of Jerusalem.

Roeh is accused of violating a Civil Administration stop-work order in order to complete the plant despite a complaint by a far-left group that it was built on private Arab land.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Roeh admitted to the accusations against him, but argued that his decision had been the moral thing to do. “There are people living here, and real life that has to continue. We can’t have every single thing cause delays, so that normal life is not authorized,” he said.

He slammed those who had issued the stop-work order, saying, “Nobody cares about sewage contaminating the aquifer in the Ofra area, what’s important to them is whether they gave the proper authorizations.”

Roeh dismissed the claims that the installation was built on privately owned land as “a caprice of the Left.”

There have been many cases in recent years in which far-left Israeli organizations file suit after a major construction project has begun in an Israeli town in Judea and Samaria, and suddenly claim private Arab ownership of the previously unused land. In several cases such suits have led to the transfer or destruction of neighborhoods and even entire towns, but Roeh’s sewage treatment plant, which provides a service essential to both Jewish and Arab residents of the area, is likely to remain standing.

Arutz Sheva spoke to Roeh as he took part in a protest in Jerusalem, calling on the government to adopt the Levy Report. Roeh also addressed the issue of the report, which found that Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria is legal.

Roeh said he does not understand all the legal arguments in the report “and I’m not supposed to understand them. What I do understand is the quality of life and conditions under which residents of Judea, Samaria and Binyamin live, as loyal citizens who have rights and not just obligations,” he said.

If the report is not brought before the government now, he warned, “after the elections it will go into deep freeze.”