Supreme Court halts work on illegal Arab vacation village

Court issues interim injunction against illegal building of guest rooms and swimming pools near central Samaria road.

Reut Hadar ,

Palestinian Arab vacation complex near main road
Palestinian Arab vacation complex near main road
Courtesy of Regavim

The Supreme Court issued an interim injunction forbidding the construction of an illegal Palestinian Arab vacation village, built in the past few months on the outskirts of the village of As-Sawiya between the city of Ariel and the community of Eli.

The resort complex, which is unusual in the local landscape, includes five guest rooms and two swimming pools.

Judge Noam Solberg decided that the hearing on the petition would be held before a panel of three justices, and ordered Muhammad Suleiman Abd al-Rahim, who holds the land involved in the petition, to immediately halt further construction until another decision was made. The petition was submitted after repeated requests by the Regavim organization, which monitors and takes action against illegal Arab building in Judea and Samaria, to the Civil Administration. Regavim included detailed documentation of the construction as it progressed unhindered.

The illegal structures are located a few dozen meters from Route 60, the main road in the area, in a way that creates a security risk for Israelis traveling along the road. The petition emphasized that erecting the buildings at this location increases the chances of stones and Molotov cocktails being thrown from the illegal complex, possibly endangering the lives of drivers passing by on the road.

Since these are structures that were built illegally in such proximity to a main road in the area, it is clear that there is very little chance that their construction will be approved, and therefore the Regavim organization is demanding that the compound be demolished before it is occupied.

"Enforcement authorities' conduct so far has proved that they are doing too little, too late," says attorney Avi Segal of Regavim. "Without the petition, the construction offenders would have continued their illegal work undisturbed. The interim order serves as a warning sign from the Supreme Court, not only to the holder of the land, but also for the conduct of the Civil Administration. "

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, added: "It was good that the court found it appropriate to stop immediately the crisis running rampant at the site, of illegal construction in a place that endangers travelers. It’s a pity that, time after time, the Council must be aided by lawyers and courts to receive service to which it is entitled by right. To stop illegal Arab building in the area which manifests a danger to security - and which takes a bite out of state land, [Jewish communities] and sometimes even archeological sites."