Benny Gantz
Benny GantzFlash 90

The Blue and White party promised the Joint Arab List that it will repeal the Kaminitz Law in exchange for the Arab party's recommendation of Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz to President Reuven Rivlin for prime minister, according to a Channel 13 News report on Saturday night.

The Kaminitz Law is the term for the amendments to the Planning and Building Law in 2017, which was formulated following extensive administrative work by a staff headed by Deputy Attorney General (Civil), Adv. Erez Kaminitz.

The phenomenon of illegal construction on public and private land has plagued the state for many years. Every year thousands of buildings are erected throughout Israel in contravention of the Planning and Building Law. The phenomenon severely impairs legal planning and construction and the ability to advance solutions to the severe housing shortage in Israel.

Kaminitz proposed a series of legislative amendments to improve the ability to deal with the phenomenon and enable more effective enforcement of planning and construction laws. The amendments were introduced into the Planning and Building Law under Amendment 116 of the Law, which passed during the 20th Knesset.

The amendments increased the severity of the punishment for construction offenses, granted more authority to inspectors and provided more effective enforcement tools such as allowing for the issuance of work stoppage and demolition orders that bypass the complex and lengthy criminal procedures that exists to date, and increase the ability of authorities to act swiftly against new delinquency.

The Regavim Movement, a non-government organization dedicated to protecting Israel's land resources and battling illegal construction warned that the repeal of the law would be a green light for rampant illegal construction in the Arab sector.

"The Kaminitz Law is one of the most important moves the outgoing Knesset has promoted, and following its enforcement, illegal construction in the Galilee has dropped by 50%," said Meir Deutsch, CEO of the Regavim Movement.

"The repeal of Amendment 116, which has just begun being implemented, will almost completely neutralize the state of Israel's ability to truly enforce planning and construction laws," Deutsch added. "The repeal of the amendment will back construction offenders, uproot the ability of the authorities to act effectively against such delinquency, make it difficult to plan ahead and properly utilize the state reserves of the state of Israel and, worst of all, irreparably harm the respect of Israeli citizens for the rule of the law."