In advance of the anticipated evacuation and demolition of Amona by order of the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to speed up the demolition of illegal construction in the Arab sector, Army Radio reported Thursday night.
Over the past two weeks, the PM has held two discussions on enforcing the law in cases of illegal Arab construction, with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), Police Chief Ronnie Alshich, and other law enforcement officials.
“There will be no double standards regarding construction,” Netanyahu stated during these discussions. “In Israel there will be an equal enforcement of the law for Jews and Arabs.”
According to the NGO Regavim (The National Land Protection Trust), dedicated to tracking illegal constructions in the Arab sector, more than 50,000 illegal structures have been built in northern Israel, 10,000 of them in Wadi Ara, a near-exclusively Arab area through which runs the highway connecting Israel’s coast with Afula, Tiberias and Tsfat.
Regavim, which estimates the annual illegal construction in the Arab sector at 3,000, petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Haifa municipality’s District Planning and Building Committee, for failure to carry out a demolition order, but the court declined to take up the petition.