Bedouin squatters forced to demolish illegal farm

Structures in illegal farm demolished after Regavim uncovers land seizure, tax evasion plot.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

the illegal farm
the illegal farm

The inspectors of the National Planning and Building Law Enforcement Unit at the Ministry of Finance arrived at an agricultural farm in the Gedera area aordered the demolition of several of the buildings in the area.

The farm is part of an illegal outpost established in recent years by Arabs and Bedouins, with aggressive takeover of privately owned land owned by Jewish farmers in the Gedera area, Rehovot, Tel Nof and nearby moshavim.

The farm owner and his friends would purchase a piece of land from one of the owners of the plot, and then fence a large area, where sheds and greenhouses were used, ostensibly for agricultural purposes. The fencing of the areas and the construction of the sheds exceeded what was permitted by law.

After the Regavim movement believed that the network of outposts was organized and systematic, an Arabic-speaking straw man was introduced, who presented himself as interested in the purchase. The photographed documentation clarified how the system works and also proved that the invaders are allegedly responsible for systematic tax evasion.

The documentation raised a long list of non-agricultural uses of other plots in the area that were purchased in a similar fashion and sold to members of minorities: residential buildings currently hidden under greenhouses, solar collectors used for producing electricity, satellite dishes, recreation areas and even swimming pools.

Following the exposure of the documentation, Regavim filed formal complaints, in the wake of which the enforcement agencies increased their activity in the area. Thanks to the amendment to the Planning and Building Law last year, an administrative demolition order was issued this week demanding that the farm owner demolish the buildings himself, before being fined hundreds of thousands of shekels. Last week, the owner of the farm was forced to destroy part of his illegal farm, and the land on which he took control would return to its owner.

"The activity of the enforcement agencies was determined and efficient in this case," says Amichai Yogev, director of the Regavim movement's activities in the Shfela and southern provinces. "We welcome the measures taken this week, but this is only part of the whole picture, and we will continue to monitor and press for the enforcement to continue until the illegal dispersal of the Gedera region is eradicated."