This is an exercise in law and order conducted by an ex-con cabinet minister and serial law breakers.
The heads of all the Arab municipalities in Israel have agreed not to build additional homes without a permit, in exchange for the state’s commitment to freeze the razing of existing illegal homes, until the matter is settled, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) informed the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Wednesday.
“There are currently some 50,000 illegal homes in the Arab sector, some with demolition orders,” Deri said. “We are working to regulate the issue.” He added that the budgets of all Arab municipalities are being increased.
After Deri noted that only a “very small” fraction of the 50,000 illegal homes in the Arab sector have been subject to demolition, MK Talab Abu Arar (Joint Arab List) said, “One thousand homes is a small amount?” Deri replied: “These are not homes. In the Negev we are talking about sheds and agricultural facilities.”
MK David Bitan (Likud) addressed the promise by the heads of Arab municipalities not to build illegally and said, “They cannot commit to this. On behalf of whom? And what if [illegal] construction does take place? So what? It is a futile commitment.”
Committee Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) said, “In the framework of the Arrangements Law we have regulated all of the outline plans for the Arab sector. All past [construction] offenses have been authorized on condition that, from now on, every construction offense will be dealt with.”
MK Abu Arar said, “I have no doubt that Minister Deri plans to help the Arab sector. We have a shortage of homes for young couples. What is the solution for a young couple that lives in a shed? Some 90,000 people live in sheds. These are our homes. I suggested allowing a young couple to build a temporary home adjacent to an existing one.”
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