The Need for Planning and Enforcement

There is a rampant unauthorized Arab construction both in Israel and in Judea and Samaria. A major reason is lack of master plans in Arab localities both in Israel and in Judea and Samaria. Legislation has just passed in the Knesset authorizing hooking up illegally constructed homes in Israel to the electricity grid. The amount of unauthorized construction – often on public lands – is such that it is practically speaking impossible to demolish them all. The solution is rather drawing up master plans for construction, but sometimes unauthorized buildings are nevertheless inevitably demolished and when this occurs beyond the green line whether in East Jerusalem or in Judea and Samaria does this elicit the strange reaction among foreign diplomats that Israel should refrain from enforcing the law and that enforcing the law ostensibly is even illegal under international law. The twisted reasoning is that the lack of master plans and building permits justify unauthorized construction and that therefore is illegal construction ostensibly legal. The EU and others should cease inventing “international laws” just for Israel. In no country is illegal construction legal and in no country is it a crime to enforce the law. There is of course no international law that prohibits demolishing unauthorized construction but there is a discriminatory tendency to invent fictional rules just for Israel. This is absurd and Israel cannot be expected to abide by discriminatory demands. The solution is rather retroactive legalization, master plans and subsequent rigorous enforcement.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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