‘Less than a third of illegal Palestinian buildings have been taken down’

Gideon Allon, ISRAEL HAYOM

Less than a third of the 1,646 illegal Palestinian buildings discovered by authorities last year have been taken down, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Commander Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said on Sunday.

Mordechai told the Judea and Samaria affairs subcommittee, part of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, that only 520 of the 1,646 buildings had been taken down.

“Anyone driving through Judea and Samaria can see the increased illegal Palestinian construction in Area C,” Subcommittee chair Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev said. “The situation has gotten worse near the Adumim bloc, where it has become an intense industrial undertaking. There are around 35,000 illegal structures in this area, and their construction is backed and organized by the Palestinian Authority and receives funding from international groups.

Regavim movement director Bezalel Smotrich said that despite the court’s legal merit, the District Coordinating Office has refused to enforce the law and has sent out-of-date reports. The most profound example is in Masua in the Jordan Valley. Despite the construction of a Palestinian outpost right near the fence of a community, the District Coordinating Office has not responded to the courts and implicitly approved and even supported the Palestinian construction.

Yogev called for a working plan to be drafted, including time tables, to sort the Bedouin settlement, which also includes taking the Palestinian Arabs and returning them to their villages. Yogev also called for drafting a list of the international groups supporting the breach of the law and to stop cooperating them, and filing complaints with the police against their personnel. The committee urged putting an emphasis on stopping illegal construction in the E1 zone, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

April 28, 2014 | Comments »

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