'Say no to Arab vacation town'

Palestinian Authority illegally builds new 'vacation town' near Jewish towns, in Area C, while Israeli authorities turn a blind eye.

Orly Harari ,

Illegally built Arab 'vacation town'
Illegally built Arab 'vacation town'

Israel's Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Palestinian Authority's "vacation town," which was illegally built over the last few months.

The town is located in the Binyamin Region, on the outskirts of the Arab town of a-Sawiya and between Ariel and Eli.

The town includes five cottages and two swimming pools, is an anomaly in the region, and harms the scenic nature of the area.

In summer 2016, the "Regavim" movement contacted the Civil Administration and demanded they supervise and enforce the laws against illegal building. During the past year, Regavim sent the Civil Administration documentation detailing the unusual fast pace of the construction.

This week, after repeated attempts to contact the Civil Administration had no effect, Regavim petitioned the Supreme Court to take action.

Regavim is a movement which works to take legal steps against illegal building.

In their petition, Regavim described how the illegal construction - only a few dozen meters away from the region's main artery, Highway 60 - could pose a serious security threat to Israelis traveling on the route.

An illegal Arab vacation town built just off Highway 60 significantly raises the risk of stoning attacks, firebombs, and other terror attacks, and poses a threat to the lives of Israelis traveling the road, they explained.

In their petition, Regavim requested the Supreme Court issue an interlocutory order that al-Sawiya's Council Head Abad Elrahim Suliman halt the construction immediately and refrain from using and populating the illegal buildings.

Israel's government told the court that it has "no opinion" on whether an interlocutory order should be issued or not.

Since the buildings were constructed illegally next to a main highway, it is clear that their construction will not be approved. Regavim therefore insists the buildings be destroyed immediately, before they can be populated.

"Unfortunately, the way the authorities have handled this issue proves that they do not do enough to prevent the next incident," Regavim attorney Avi Segal said. "Construction criminals continue to work illegally."

"This illegal outpost will soon be finished, with its builders callously scorning the law and the Israeli government.

"They know that the supervisory bodies will do nothing to stop them."

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan said, "It cannot be that a new Palestinian vacation town is being built right under our noses, and we continue to act as if we have a severe vision issue."

"We expect the authorities to do their job.

"The same determination which led them to expel Amona's residents should lead them to destroy the illegally built Arab town."