The Regavim Movement recently submitted a formal complaint to Ramle Mayor Michael Vidal, demanding enforcement of the Construction and Planning Law against an illegal structure built by members of the city’s Islamic Movement – in a local Muslim cemetery.
The new structure stands just meters away from the "White Tower," an archaeological site with remains dating back to the Mamluk Era (circa 1250 CE), as well as ruins of a mosque from an even earlier period.
Responding to Regavim’s complaint, Vidal admitted that the newly-completed structure is, in fact, illegal, and violates Ramle’s Municipal Planning and Zoning Masterplan. At the same time, Vidal claimed that the local planning and construction committee is taking the necessary enforcement action against the illegal structure.
Regavim responded to Vidal, pointing out that the Islamic Movement began construction at the site over a year ago, and the project has been carried out from start to finish without interruption or interference by the authorities. Regavim further noted that construction work necessary to complete the impressive structure was large-scale, intensive, and public, as it was carried out in a very visible spot in the heart of the city.
Regavim’s attorney, Boaz Arzi, submitted a formal response to Mayor Vidal’s correspondence, with a Freedom of Information request to obtain the specifics of the enforcement activity: What steps, if any, are being taken? Have the offenders been served with indictments? Has the Ramle Municipality applied to the court for a demolition order? And if such an order has been issued, when does the municipality intend to carry it out?
"We must not allow law and order to be buried by the Islamic Movement," said Regavim’s spokesman. "We will continue to pursue this case, among all the other instances of selective law enforcement that we continue to push onto the public agenda. Our goal is to make equal and universal law enforcement more than just a slogan, and to make Israeli sovereignty a force to be contended with."