Civil Admin enforces law seven years later
Civil Admin enforces law seven years later Regavim

As a result of pressure exerted by Regavim and the Shomron Municipal Council, the Civil Administration removed illegal structures built on land belonging to the Jewish community of Leshem in Samaria.

Taysir Abdallah has been squatting on government land that belongs to the Jewish community of Leshem in the Shomron. He poached a prime piece of property, directly on top of what was meant to be the safe, modern access road to the community.

Seven years ago, Abdallah was served demolition orders that set in motion a seemingly unending saga of delay tactics, petitions, court appearances, falsified and irrelevant documents, and more.

Taking full advantage of the bureaucratic quagmire that is common practice in Judea and Samaria, Abdallah submitted a request for a building permit to the Civil Administration – after having been served with demolition orders, effectively putting enforcement on hold.

Regavim and the Shomron Regional Council took the case to the Supreme Court. Abdallah brought documentation to prove ownership of the land in question, but it eventually became clear that the documents were not deeds of ownership at all, and they had nothing to do with the land on which he was squatting.

Meanwhile, he continued to flout the law, building two additional illegal structures as the legal wrangling continued.

When the final decision was handed down, the next absurdity began: Despite the fact that all of Abdallah’s claims were rejected every step along the way, the Civil Administration informed Regavim that the demolition orders would not be enforced: “Old structures are at the bottom of the list of enforcement priorities,” the Civil Administration explained. “There are hundreds of newer structures that have been built in the interim that are of higher priority.”

Rather than capitulate, Regavim continued to pressure the Civil Administration, and this morning the effort paid off: The Civil Administration carried out significant enforcement measures, demolishing some of Abdullah’s illegal structures.

Demolishing some of Abdallah's illegal structures
Demolishing some of Abdallah's illegal structures Regavim

Shomron Municipal Council head Yossi Dagan welcomed the demolition that was seven years in the making: “We're pleased with the enforcement. Better late than never. The issue of law enforcement against illegal Arab construction is crucial for the future of Jewish communities. Every additional illegal structure takes another bite out of state-owned land and causes strategic harm to the State of Israel and Jewish settlement.”

“The tactics used by Abdullah are classic examples of a system that involves thousands of illegal Arab structures,” explained Regavim Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria Yishai Hemo. “Nonsensical permit requests, appeals designed to clog the system, abuse of the legal process – the State of Israel must take action vis-à-vis the system as a whole. Otherwise, every lawbreaker is rewarded, and the law enforcement system is brought to its knees."

Hemo continued: "Thousands of unenforced demolition orders have been gathering dust for years. The Civil Administration must enforce the law the moment they're legally able to do so, to prevent years of foot-dragging that harms the creation and implementation of a rational, organized policy for planning and construction, and undermines the rule of law."