Bennett with Mansour Abbas and Yair Golan
Bennett with Mansour Abbas and Yair Golan Olivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

The Ra’am party on Sunday reported its first tangible achievement in the talks it held with Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid on the party’s return to the coalition.

In a statement, Ra’am noted that "under the new agreement between Ra’am and government agencies, the government and the authorities have approved important amendments to their policies regarding legal procedures for expanding existing homes and building new homes in unrecognized villages in the Negev."

According to the statement, the change in government policy makes it possible to expand the existing buildings up to 70 meters, and to establish another building in the same area in coordination with the relevant authorities.

Ra’am said that this paves the way for young couples to build a home without fear of demolition or violation of the law.

In addition, the change in government policy will prohibit the demolition of existing additions to buildings, will allow for maintenance of existing homes and the replacement of their roofs.

Ra’am stated in its announcement that it will be possible for residents whose homes are close to places where infrastructure projects, such as construction of roads and railways, are carried out, to temporarily move their place of residence and receive a connection to the infrastructure until they return to their original place of residence.

MK Waleed Taha (Ra’am) said on Saturday that, in the next few days it, will be possible to see the achievements that Ra’am extracted in talks it held with Lapid as part of the conditions it set for it to remain in the coalition.

MK Taha also said that the great achievements that Ra'am extracted in talks with Lapid will teach that the government has internalized the new rules of the game vis-à-vis Arab society.

A source in the coalition responded on Sunday to Ra’am’s statement and said, "The previous government set an enforcement policy for non-demolition of a building up to 50 meters. Following a request from the Welfare Minister, it was increased to non-demolition of the building up to 70 meters."

The Likud sharply attacked the agreements with Ra’am and said, "In order to keep his seat, Bennett continues the liquidation sale of the state to the Shura Council. The significance of the decision to allow and legalize illegal construction means handing over the Negev."