Economy Minister Eli Cohen with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan
Economy Minister Eli Cohen with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan Roi Hadi

Arabs from Samaria have built illegal buildings in areas designated for a new industrial zone in Samaria. The State has to date refused to demolish the illegal structures even though they have been built on land under full Israeli control.

Palestinian Arabs are also expected to work in the "Bustanei Hefetz" industrial zone, which will be built on 980 dunams (242 acres) between the city of Taibe and the two of Avnei Hefetz.

There will be over 100 factories and commercial complexes that will employ thousands of workers.

Construction plans are currently undergoing approval by the Israel Land Authority. Last month, IDF forces and the Civil Administration distributed evacuation orders to all illegal buildings, but the buildings were not demolished and evacuated from the industrial zone.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said: "Bustanei Hefetz is an important asset for Samaria construction and economy. We have been working on it for a number of years and it will significantly improve the quality of life, livelihood and employment for all residents. We expect all relevant factors to be urgently met and the enforcement of the evacuation orders so that we can continue to expand the tremendous swing in Samaria and prevent attempts to prevent the establishment of the industrial zone through invasion and illegal construction."

Yishai Hemo of the Regavim organization said: "In recent months, we have uncovered the extent of data showing how the Palestinian Authority and its entities are taking control of tens of thousands of dunams in Judea and Samaria, but this is a new record of impertinence, since it is state land designated for an Israeli industrial zone."

"The picture of the situation is clear: when the State of Israel does not demonstrate governance, there is an immediate price. While every building permit for Jews in Judea and Samaria goes through seven rounds of bureaucracy, the Palestinian Authority is creating facts on the ground," Hemo said.