The access route to the city of Rawabi was built partly on private land – and without the consent of the owner, according to the latest comments by the State prior to the hearing of a petition filed by Regavim. Following the discussion, the Court gave Rawabi six months to prove ownership of the land.
Two years ago, Regavim appealed to the Supreme Court against the Civil Administration, the Ministry of Defence and the Rawabi company, in connection to the construction of the city located in an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority, specifically concerning the Rawabi company’s improvements of land and a construction and paving of a road in one of the city’s neighborhoods. The works were carried out in “Zligat,” a city under Israeli control in the direction of the nearby Jewish community of Ateret.
Only after the petition by Regavim halted the illegal paving of the road, and in light of the discussion by the Supreme Court during the previous hearing held in late January, the Rawabi company announced before the court that the construction work will not be renewed until the approval of the programs.
But now, in response to updates from the state prior to the hearing, the State pointed out that the Rawabi company has not yet completed the the planning aspects of the road, that is, beyond the fact that it began to be built before obtaining a permit as required by law. More than that it is found that the section of the illegal route is located on privately owned land, built without the owner’s consent.
“The documents submitted by respondent 4 (Rawabi company) were examined by the Planning Bureau. The examination showed that it was the title is not enough to fulfill the requirements in this respect. Among other things, in view of the fact that some of the road is found with regulated land, which did not achieve the owner’s consent in relation to the specific area … documents provided do not solve the problem proprietary “.
In its response, the state added in answering Regavim’s petition that “without arranging a permanent access road to the city, it would not be possible to approve the approach, which is subject to a final appeal”, and that discussions are currently being held in the Civil Administration to examine proposals to regulate the approach to the city.
During the hearing, the court ordered the company to immediately prove that Rawabi has proprietary ownership on the private plots which they paved the road to the city. President Naor commented during the hearing that petitions have been filed against parallel roads leading to Israeli settlements, the pace of the court for one year, to examine the regulation of the road or its destruction, and thus deserves to be in this case. In six months it will continue the discussion and will examine whether the Rawabi Company completed the acquisition of the land and the completion of the regulation of the approach to the city.
Please recall, enforcement activities against illegal construction of the road began only after repeated requests on our behalf. At the beginning of the procedure the Civil Administration also refused to initiate proceedings against the road construction being carried out on the grounds that the area is not under Israeli control. Each case illustrates the behavior of the authorities shirking their duty to enforce the law, and therefore we believe that the court’s decision speaks for itself. The state cannot sit anymore on the fence, and it must decide whether to expropriate the land to pave the road, or order the destruction.