At a time when all eyes are raised towards the future of Amona, the Regavim movement (which is dedicated to monitoring and taking legal action against construction without permits conducted by Arabs and Bedouins on state land) has submitted a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the Defense Ministry and the Civil Administration for neglecting for a decade to demolish an illegal Arab building which is on state land within the administrative borders of the town of Leshem.
A number of months ago the organization appealed to the Civil Administration to enforce the law against the buildings which are located on state land within the administrative borders of the Samarian town of Leshem.
The Civil Administration responded that the enforcement authorities are aware of the buildings and "they are being treated according to illegal construction directives". From an investigation by the Regavim movement, it became clear that this directive was already applied to the buildings in 2008.
From aerial photos, it is apparent that, in the past two years the trespassing on state land continued with land development and extension of existing buildings. Despite this, no sanctions had been taken against the place.
Attorney Boaz Avni of the Regavim movement said that this demonstrates the problematic priorities of the enforcement authorities. "This building was constructed on state land and, despite a case being opened against the construction nearly a decade ago, nothing was enforced. In the meantime, the place has become an outpost, growing and threatening the continued development of the Leshem community in accordance with its approved plans."
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron regional council, said that "the discrimination against Judean and Samarian residents had never been clearer. At a time when we are all crying over the 50 houses in Amona which the state hurries to destroy, the state acts neglectfully towards one single house which is situated on state land for a decade. This is negligence on the part of the bureaucrats and harms the rights of residents of Leshem and Alei Zahav. This strange policy leads to the thought that somebody has an interest in harming the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. I call on the relevant authorities to do their job properly."