Illegal building near Jerusalem
Illegal building near Jerusalem Arutz Sheva

The Jerusalem Belt Forum (Forum Otef Yerushalayim) is targeting Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) over rampant illegal Arab construction in the Jerusalem area, and the failure to systematically enforce the law against such structures.

A new online campaign by the forum features a video entitled “Only Liberman Stutters in Arabic”, mocking Liberman’s campaign slogan “Only Liberman Speaks Arabic”.

The video highlights the Defense Ministry’s failure to enforce hundreds of demolition orders against illegal Bedouin settlements across the Adumim bloc east of Jerusalem and around Route 1 between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

According to the watchdog group, 822 illegal structures, built with funds provided by the European Union, have been slated for demolition – yet remain standing.

The Defense Minister, the forum argues, “Is ignoring the hundreds of Arab terror buildings on Highway 1, thus enabling the establishment of a terrorist Palestinian state.”

In response to the forum’s claims, Liberman’s office issued the following statement:

“With his entry into the position, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman pushed for the enforcement [of building laws] in Judea and Samaria at the proper time, and as can be seen with past demolition operations – including in E-1 [East-1, in between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem] and Sussiya.”

“All kinds of marginal forums which serve the interests of frustrated politicians who hide behind obscure names only slow down the dedicated implementation of policy by the minister.”