Palestinian Arab Buildings On IDF Firing Range Demolished
Security forces destroyed nine illegal Palestinian Arab structures east of Shechem, which were built directly in the line of fire on an IDF shooting range.
Three of the buildings had been occupied - an active mosque, a public toilet, and a building being used as a warehouse. Two goat pens were also erected on the site.
The Civil Administration indicated that the buildings were demolished after the owners filed a motion to the High Court of Justice, but that the petition was dismissed "in favor of upholding the law." The petitioners were given time to submit applications for official building permits or to evacuate, and this time had passed.
Earlier this month, police forces and the IDF demolished an illegal cafe in the Binyamin region; six Palestinian Arabs were arrested and the property was seized. It is suspected that the cafe served as a platform for criminal and terrorist activity. Chief Police Superintendent for the Binyamin Region, Dudi Hayoun said, "We are working day and night to strengthen the public's sense of security and rule of law."
The demolitions of illegal Arab construction are a drop in the bucket, Jewish nationalists claim. They note that while the government has adopted a fiercely vindictive policy toward Jewish construction, when photo evidence of Arab illegal building surfaced in November, it was met with a conspicuous silence by the US and EU.
At first, the Palestinian Authority (PA) kept the buildings under black tarps, to prevent photos being taken and establishing proof of illegal building. Over time, these tarps have disappeared, revealing even more buildings in their wake. All of the buildings are in Area C, the area exclusively under Israeli control.
While Regavim, a watchdog group for Jewish national property rights, has asked the government several times to intervene, no action has yet been taken. The Civil Administration has reportedly posted signs forbidding the building -- but that is all.