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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘building’

Israeli ‘Law and Order Bill’ Approved by Cabinet

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

The Israeli government approved on Sunday a new law described by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a bill to “increase and strengthen enforcement in the field of planning and construction.”

Dubbed by some as the “law and order bill,” the law is also being called the “one state, one law” bill, a measure Netanyahu says is intended to equalized enforcement of the laws across all populations.

“Our government is investing considerable resources in developing the Arab sector – economic development, education, transportation, housing solutions and other issues,” the prime minister said in opening remarks to the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Alongside all of these, we are working to create a reality of one state with one law; law and order for everyone, without exception. This is desirable and the time has come for it to be so in the State of Israel.”

One of the issues that may be addressed by this bill is the rage invariably provoked when police enforce demolition of illegal structures that are built by Arabs.

Illegal structures built by Jews are also demolished, and those demolitions provoke equal rancor but generally are completed with far less violence and danger to the engineers and/or security forces involved in the operation. Moreover, there are far fewer illegal structures built by Jews, and fewer Jewish squatters. The difference in the numbers and the response to enforcement of the laws is one of the driving forces behind the creation of the law.

A new division was also created in the Israel Police earlier this year with an eye towards law enforcement in the Arab sector.

This past April, Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheikh appointed the department’s first Muslim deputy commissioner-year-old Gemal Hakrush, the highest-ranking Muslim ever to serve in the force.

Hakrush heads a new Israel Police division to deal with law enforcement in the Arab sector, which comprises 20 percent of the nation’s population and where customs and culture codes are different, with Israeli police held in deep suspicion. In some areas, they are simply outright feared or hated, with Israeli Arab police officers considered “traitors.”

Hana Levi Julian

Housing Ministry to Ease Requirements for Foreign Companies Building in Israel

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant has called on foreign construction companies to build in Israel new housing compounds of 1,000 units and more, in collaboration with local companies, and the Ministry of Housing will ease the requirements for the foreign builders’ integration in the Israeli market, Yediot Aharonot reported Monday. Some of the eased conditions are: the requirement for a company’s annual business cycle was lowered from $500 million to $300 million; the requirement to prove the minimum volume of construction will be spread over five rather than three years.; and building for housing only will be expanded to include proposals for office space construction.

The companies will be required to show that they’ve built at least one 25-story or two 15-story towers outside their own home country.

Dozens of foreign construction companies have already responded with interest to the call, including builders from China, Turkey, the US, Canada, and several European outfits. The Housing ministry plans to accept only two companies from the same country.

“One of the main areas of economic activity in the State of Israel is the construction industry, whose importance is reflected in its significant scope, investments and accumulated capital,” Minister Galant wrote in his ministry’s report, Israel Housing Market Emerging Opportunities, May 2016. “The industrialization and productivity levels in this area are relatively low compared to other sectors of the Israeli economy and worldwide. As a growing state, with one of the highest rates of population growth in the developed world, increasing housing construction capacity is of crucial importance, both as an answer to an immediate need for new homes as well as a contributing factor to the growth of the Israeli economy.”

“The key factor for resolving the housing crisis is a conceptual change in the planning process, the land development and the construction methods. A fundamental change is required, which, at the end of the process, will enable the entire population of the State of Israel to obtain appropriate housing solutions within a reasonable time and at reasonable prices,” Galant wrote.

But Roni Brick of the Israel Builders Association told Yediot that flooding the Israeli construction industry with foreign competition is not the right way to increase production, and that what the field needs desperately is an infusion of foreign labor, not foreign companies.

JNi.Media

US State Dept Questions Israel’s Desire to Reach ‘2-State Solution’

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

The U.S. State Department is questioning whether Israel really wants to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, and whether the Netanyahu government really supports the “two-state solution.”

State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a briefing Tuesday that Washington is “deeply concerned” over Israel’s decision to approve a tender for 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba and construction of 800 new housing units in Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.

“If it’s true, this report would be the latest step in what seems to be the systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions and legalization of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” Kirby told reporters.

“This action risks entrenching a one-state reality and raises serious questions about Israel’s intentions.”

The approvals came in response to two deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated against Israelis within a 24-hour period last week. A 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Authority Arab who climbed in her bedroom window last Thursday morning. The killer stabbed young Halle Yaffa Ariel, hy’d dozens of times, her blood spraying all over her room, after he scaled the security fence around Kiryat Arba.

The next day Arab terrorists opened fire at Rabbi Miki Mark, the administrator of the Otniel yeshiva as he drove near the community on Route 60 with his wife and children just a few hours before the Sabbath. The rabbi died instantly as he lost control of the vehicle and the car flipped over; his wife Chava was critically injured. Two of his ten children were also wounded.

Hallel Ariel, hy’d, was an American citizen. So is Chava Mark. But although the State Department issued the standard condemnation of violence perpetrated against U.S. citizens, there was complete silence from the White House.

Israel’s security cabinet met Saturday night to determine a response to the escalation in deadly attacks. By Sunday morning the government ministers were presented with a list of measures that were gauged to signal Israel’s determination not to buckle under the violence, including more boots on the ground in the Hebron area.

The Quartet for Mideast Peace issued a report on Friday (July 1) blaming Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria — even routine building connected with the natural growth in any community, within the municipal boundaries of existing towns — for the violence.

On Tuesday, it seemed the U.S. was joining that bandwagon and adding more fuel to the fire, blaming the approval of badly-needed housing units in existing communities for the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to join direct final status talks — and the unprovoked bloodbaths by Arab terrorists against innocent Israeli civilians.

Kirby added the U.S. would continue to “look for leaders in the region to do what they need to do … to demonstrate leadership to take down the violence, reduce tensions.”

Hana Levi Julian

Building Blocks – June 2016

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Jewish Press Staff

Continental Chutzpah: EU Building on Israeli Land, Warning Against Demolitions

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The European Union over the past few years has been erecting illegal structures in Area C, which according to the Oslo agreement is under Israeli control. After several rightwing NGOs have complained, the IDF set out to demolish some of those structures. By rights, they should have taken all of them down, what with their being built without a permit. Israeli media publicized the demolition of those structures, some of which actually flew the EU flag — like those mythical cat burglars who leave their personal business card in the open safe. But last week the EU chutzpah has reached unprecedented highs when Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish diplomat who since 2013 has been the ambassador of the European Union to Jerusalem, met with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Gen. Yoav Mordechai, to warn him that if Israel keeps demolishing those “Palestinian homes” it would damage relations with Brussels.

According to a senior Israeli official who spoke to Ha’aretz, the meeting was tense and loaded. The ambassador accused Israel of hurting the “weakest Palestinian populations.” What the senior official did not share was that those structures are a means by which the EU has been challenging Israel’s claim to sovereignty in Area C (the PA is currently in charge in Areas A and B). It has to do with the diametrically opposed views of Israel and the EU of what constitutes the “two-state solution.”

Essentially, the Israeli politicians who are now in government, as well as more than a few in the opposition, envision a future peace deal that turns Areas A and B into an independent Palestinian entity, either as a state or an autonomy. The same Israeli leaders envision some permanent legal solution for the upwards of 400 thousand Jews living in Judea and Samaria, all of them in Area C, most likely with Israel annexing the large settlement clusters and giving away the rest of the land.

Virtually no one outside Israel supports this idea at the moment. Even Israel’s best friends in the world envision the ousting of the Jews from Area C, possibly while allowing Israel to retain eastern Jerusalem. How would that actually be done—no one cares to say, nor where would Israel gather the tens of billions of dollars required for such a move, never mind whether the settler population would acquiesce or opt instead for resistance that would make the traumatic evacuation of 8,000 Jews from Gaza’s Gush Katif look like a picnic. Meanwhile, while Area C in Israel’s view is eventually going to be annexed as part of a peace deal — to the Europeans Area C is Palestinian land ready to be redeemed.

Which is why the EU has been relentless at challenging Israel’s claim to Area C. And it’s why they’ve come up with the delusional notion that taking down 531 illegal Arab structures in 2015, 75 of which had been built by the EU, was damaging the two-state solution. Because the two-state solution the Europeans envision is without any Jews in Area C.

For the same reason, Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen was complaining that Israel is quick to condemn and demolish those illegal structures, but at the same time refuses to give Arabs permits to build legally in Area C. Because while the Arabs view Area C as soon to be part of free Palestine, Israelis plan to keep most of it, thank you very much.

There’s going to be another meeting with the EU envoy, on June 15, this time at the Israeli foreign ministry. The Europeans are going to demand a freeze on demolishing Arab structures in Area C, while at the same time also demanding a freeze on Jewish construction in the same Area C. And at some point something will have to give.

David Israel

Turkey’s President Erdogan ‘Waiting for Israel’ to Respond on Gaza

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is waiting for Israel to grant permission for Turkey to construct energy and water transfer infrastructure in Gaza, according to a report published Saturday (May 21) in the Hurriyet Daily News, quoting an earlier broadcast.

“I expect that something will happen this month. It’s my wish that we’ll reach a conclusion in a short time,” Erdogan told a news broadcast by A Haber on May 19.

“In regards to [lifting] the embargo, they say, ‘We are open to allowing goods into Gaza through Turkey, but we are not open to those coming from places other than Turkey.’ But the problem is not only this. We have some other demands,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader said Ankara has demanded that Israel allow provision of continuous energy to Gaza, “as the enclave has only three to four hours of electricity per day,” Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey’s proposal to provide electricity to Gaza through a naval vessel was rejected by Israel.

“But they proposed something else: We told them that we are ready to construct all the infrastructure [of energy]. They viewed the proposal positively,” Erdogan said.

The second demand, he said, was that Turkey be allowed to provide water to Gaza either by desalinating the sea water or by drilling wells. “There are positive developments with regard to this issue as well,” he said.

Turkey’s third demand from Israel, said Erdogan, was regarding construction projects in Gaza.

“Our third offer is about building schools and hospitals. The construction of a hospital has been completed and necessary equipment is being provided. ‘These must be done,’ we told them. ‘If these would be done, then we’ll immediately appoint ambassadors and improve our relations in the right direction.’”

According to the report, Israeli and Turkish diplomats are expected to meet in the near future to finalize an agreement between the two countries.

But it’s impossible to know what the final outcome will be: Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is set to meet at a nationwide Congress on May 22 to choose a new prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, hand-picked by Erdogan, resigned his position earlier this month.

Hana Levi Julian

Games Galore: Building And Robotics

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Jodie Maoz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/games-galore-building-and-robotics/2016/05/20/

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