Huge illegal Arab city sprouts 'under the radar'

Regavim movement reveals enormous illegal city being built on firing range, Civil Administration 'approves it with a wink.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

One of the homes in the new city
One of the homes in the new city

During a discussion on Wednesday morning in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee, the Regavim movement that tracks illegal Arab construction exposed that a new illegal Arab city has sprouted up on a military firing range in the southern Har Hevron region of Judea.

The ongoing illegal construction spans tens of thousands of dunams, and includes the establishment of hundreds of residential buildings, schools, clinics and mosques.

Foreign sources, including the European Union (EU), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Abu Dhabi are funding the illegal development of roadway and electricity infrastructures which are spreading out ever further over dozens of kilometers.

Back in the 1980s a small number of Bedouin families lived in temporary dwellings on firing range 917.

Throughout the Subcommittee hearing, representatives of the IDF Civil Administration claimed that the new illegal city was a "collection of buildings" in three demarcations prepared by the Civil Administration's planning authorities in the latter half of the 1980s.

"These demarcations were meant to give a response to the Bedouin population dwelling on the site for several dozen years. Most of the construction is concentrated in the region of the demarcations throughout the last 30 years. Several incidents deviating from the agreements occurred, and all the required orders were issued against them and demolition and seizure actions were taken," said the Civil Administration representatives.

Regavim rejected the claims, noting that the construction in the demarcations was ignored despite the lack of an outline plan and building permits as required by law.

Beyond that, the movement pointed out that the construction has spread out since then, and at the current pace they are set to establish a city with territorial continuity spanning 10,000 dunams.

Video showing the various parts of the illegal Arab city can be seen below.

"Under the public radar of residents of the state of Israel, the Civil Administration is giving a prize to Palestinian lawbreakers, and is approving with a wink the wild illegal construction of a huge city, which doesn't stand by any planning and legal criterion," said Oved Arad, the head of Regavim's field division.

"This is a scandal that requires that the official inspection sources in the state of Israel conduct a deep and thorough investigation on this topic," said Arad.

"The sprouting of this pirate city must be stopped immediately, and a policy of enforcing the planning and building laws as required in any other place must be implemented."

Credit: Regavim