In the heart of the Land of Israel, an exclusive new housing project is underway. To qualify for this prime location you must have Jewish blood on your hands: Eligibility is for those who have served a minimum 5-year prison sentence in an Israeli security prison.
Recently, work began on a new neighborhood of 100 luxury villas in Area B – the portion of Judea and Samaria under Palestinian Authority civil jurisdiction and Israeli security jurisdiction.
The project developer, the Ramallah-based “Al Karameh Corporation for Prisoner Housing,” is an association whose members have served sentences of at least five years in Israeli prisons for terror-related convictions. The governing board of the corporation boasts family members of notorious terrorists, including Ablah Saadat, wife of Ahmad Saadat, Secretary General of the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Naim Al-Sharif, father of Imad Al-Sharif, a convicted Hamas terrorist.
The new neighborhood has a commanding position overlooking Route 60 at the British Police Junction. This is the spot from which countless terrorist incidents have been launched, including in 2002 when an Palestinian-Arab sniper murdered 7 IDF soldiers, 3 civilians and injured 6 others.
This proves unequivocally that those calling upon Israel and the world to prop up and even strengthen the Palestinian Authority are completely out of touch with reality. It is high time that we understand precisely who and what we are dealing with: The Palestinians – both the leadership and the rank and file civilian population – idolize terrorists and consider them freedom fighters and martyrs, while the Israeli government agonizes over the morality of deporting the families of terrorists or of instituting the death penalty.
While all this hand-wringing and moralizing is going on, terrorism continues to claim the lives of Israelis throughout the Land of Israel, and the bloody tally of Jewish victims continues to swell.
Thousands of dunams for expansion and construction – on land that will cut off Jewish communities from Jerusalem: Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria express outrage at the announcement of permits for Palestinian Arab construction as a gesture to welcome President Biden. Regavim: “This is a fatal blow to Jewish settlement and to Israeli democracy.”
As part of a package of “good will gestures” honoring honoring US President Biden upon his visit to Israel, the Israeli government will approve 6 masterplans for Palestinian settlements in Judea and Samaria. These plans will result in de facto Palestinian annexation of large sections of Area C – the portion of Judea and Samaria under full Israeli jurisdiction. They include “legalization” of hundreds of illegally-built structures and expansion of Arab villages, isolating and choking existing Jewish communities and threatening the security and feasibility of the entire settlement enterprise.
The plans will reward the Palestinian Authority’s continued efforts to create facts on the ground, and encourage the continued implementation of the Fayyad Plan of territorial takeover using precise placement of illegal construction and agricultural projects.
The Arab village of Batir, located between Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood and Gush Etzion, will be granted a permit for no less than 518 illegal structures as well as expansion of the village by some 3000 dunams – an area comparable in size to the city of Ariel. The plan will effectively cut off Gush Etzion from Jerusalem and severely compromise the security of the Gush Etzion-Jerusalem Tunnel Road.
Another plan, in Eastern Gush Etzion, will approve the expansion of Kisan by 615 dunams, severely limiting access for Jewish communities of eastern Gush Etzion and any possibility for future growth. Similar plans for the village of Pakiks will cut off the Jewish community of Negohot in the South Hebron Hills area.
Approval of Municipal Masterplans (Tab”a) are also planned in Binyamin and Shomron, including a plan that jeopardizes the very heart of Samaria, near Highway 5 between Ariel and Revava. Another plan up for approval is Hizme, adjacent to Jerusalem’s Pisgat Zeev neighborhood, where expansion by hundreds of dunams will bring the village even closer to Israel’s capital.
“This is a catastrophe that must be averted – immediately,” says Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim. “Saar, Shaked, Kahana, Elkin, Hendel, Orbach – you were elected on right-wing votes because you promised to protect the Jewish settlement enterprise. You handed Yair Lapid his seat in the Prime Minister’s office, and you are the reason Benny Gantz is Minister of Defense. It is your responsibility to block this insane plan to whitewash thousands of illegal structures that will cut off Jewish settlement blocs from Jerusalem and give permanence to the criminal Palestinian takeover of Area C.”
After a seemingly endless stream of correspondence and complaints by Regavim, the Civil Administration cleared an illegal garbage dump in the Binyamin region. But the Regavim Movement discovered that the dumping site was cleared and rehabilitated at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer, and not a single one of the criminals arrested for dumping the trash were charged or tried – even when they resumed dumping at the very same spot only weeks later. Regavim has petitioned the High Court of Justice.
In 2019, Regavim’s field staff noticed that criminals had taken over the open space near the Psagot Junction in the Binyamin region of Area C (the portion of Judea and Samaria under full Israeli jurisdiction), and used it to dump and burn massive quantities of trash. With no oversight, inspection or permits and in complete disregard of the most basic criteria for waste disposal and environmental protection, this illegal dumping ground was causing unspeakable, irreparable damage to the soil and water, and creating a health hazard to plant, animal and human life in the vicinity that was affecting all residents of the area – Jews and Arabs alike.
Regavim complained to the authorities – repeatedly – and demanded oversight and enforcement at the site, restoration of the environment and prosecution of those responsible for this criminal abuse. The authorities eventually announced that they had apprehended and impounded several dump trucks that were unloading trash – meaning that the identity of the offenders was known and duly recorded. At the end of 2021, the Civil Administration, which is responsible for law enforcement in Area C, announced that it had completed clean-up and restoration of the site – at a cost of NIS 370,098. The project was funded from the Civil Administration’s budget, while the official announcement also noted that “the Civil Administration has no information regarding the identity of the perpetrators.”
Surprisingly – or not – only a few short weeks later, in February 2022, dump trucks were back at work, unloading tons of garbage at the very same site and rebuilding the massive mountain of trash.
Regavim decided to take the matter to the High Court of Justice. The petition they submitted claimed that the Civil Administration’s conduct in this matter violates both the law and the most basic standards of good governance, and that it is unreasonable to force the law-abiding public to bear costs of hundreds of thousands of Shekels to remove the trash while the offenders, whose identity is no secret, have not been charged or tried for this crime – and are given a free hand to continue to violate the ecosystem and the law, causing irreparable harm to the environment.
Attorney Yael Cinnamon, who is representing Regavim in this petition, noted: “The Civil Administration’s policy of negligence that allows criminals to commit offenses with impunity, without being required to pay the price for their crimes or for the damage they have caused, has taken root, and criminals have learned to take full advantage of the law enforcement void and the Civil Administration’s reticence in order to expand their dangerous and illegal activities. The re-activation of the illegal dump in Binyamin, which was cleared and restored only a few months ago, is a case in point.”
Moshe Shmueli, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria, added: “We are engaged in a protracted battle against the illegal dumping site near Psagot. When we finally managed to force the Civil Administration to shut down the dump and do what had to be done to rehabilitate the surrounding environment, we were shocked to discover that the costs were funded by the public. Even worse, it took almost no time at all for the dumping to resume. This is not the only illegal dumping site in the area, either. The criminals know how to use the chaos and inaction of the authorities to their advantage, just as they do with the lack of enforcement against illegal construction.”
Yisrael Gantz, Head of the Binyamin Regional Council: “The failure to enforce the law is strangling the environment. Sadly, there is no deterrence against Arab criminals or the Palestinian Authority. When there is no serious enforcement, there is a free for all, and it takes a toll on our health. Enforcement is currently only a drop in the ocean – it’s nowhere near enough to stop the rampant criminality.”
“The fact that the hard-earned tax money of the municipalities and citizens of Judea and Samaria is collected by the Civil Administration and used to tend to illegal Arab dumping sites, rather than to develop infrastructure and environmental projects for local communities, is nothing short of scandalous.”
Yesterday, after a field tour with the “Shrinking the Conflict” organization, we found our car with a shattered windshield, a broken door, and a huge rock left on the road. Ironic, no?
As part of a tour that focused on environmental issues, we stopped near Route 465 in the Binyamin Region to get a closer look of the raw sewage that flows unchecked out of Bir Zeit and into the nearby streams, polluting the ground, the water, and the entire ecological system.
When we were about 20 meters from the cars, we noticed an Arab driver who braked and hurled an enormous rock toward our cars, shattering the windshield of Regavim’s field coordinator. This was an act of hatred and violence – and a sadly symbolic end to the tour.
Luckily, we weren’t sitting in the car when the rock was thrown or driving at speed. Sometimes people forget or are unaware of the daily reality in Judea and Samaria. For a long time, Judea and Samaria has been plagued with Arab terror of various sorts: rock attacks, molotov cocktails, knives, guns, and other forms of violence.
We’re not going to back down. We’re not afraid. We’ll continue to protect Israel’s land resources and to preserve Israeli sovereignty – throughout the Land of Israel. This is our one and only country. We refuse to give up on it.
A few months ago, we posted about the Arab invasion of Israeli lands between the Binyamin region and the Jordan Valley, next to the village of Duma. Near the Alon Road, Duma residents began a mass takeover of Israeli state lands: illegal structures, roads, fences, etc.
The illegal structures were built a significant distance from the village. The Palestinian Authority’s tactic is simple; we’ve noticed the same pattern time and again: they identify a strategic point far away from an already-existing population center, seize the entire territory, find another location farther away, build, and so on.
We approached the authorities a number of times about this issue, and applied pressure for the law to be enforced. Soon after, this week, the enforcement authorities restored the area to its original state and tore down the illegal structures.
This is an example of what we do on a daily basis. It starts with a presence on the ground, as our field coordinators throughout the country monitor and document illegal land grabs. We then alert the authorities and apply legal pressure to uphold the law.
Want to support our activities? Make an online, tax-deductible donation here.
An illegal structure near Duma, before torn down by the authorities
Yesterday, the Jerusalem Municipality and Israeli security forces tore down the illegal business complex at the north-eastern entrance to Jerusalem. The busy road going into the city can now be widened, which is sure to ease the traffic that drivers have become accustomed to near Hizma.
Every day, hundreds of thousands of Jewish and Arab residents who drive past Hizma suffer from the heavy traffic caused by the illegal complex. The complex also caused huge environmental damage because of waste disposal and misconduct of goods. And due to the proximity to the security fence, the businesses also provided a security threat.
Next to Hizma just north of #Jerusalem, bordering a main highway & the security fence, an illegal business complex has popped up over the last few years. The complex continues to expand, with about 15 businesses now active. (1/4) THREAD pic.twitter.com/RdiQCOjlh0
Recently, we told you about the hearing on our petition at the Jerusalem District Court. During the hearing, a representative of the Ministry of Defense presented a secret enforcement plan to the judges while no one else was in the room. Our impression was that the Court reviewed the plan seriously, thus we agreed to pull our petition. However, we protested the decision to postpone enforcement at the complex, and demanded that the authorities implement the plan, in line with their promise to the Court.
Yesterday, the State finally fulfilled its promises and demolished a significant part of the complex. It’s a shame, however, that this case had to reach the Courts instead of the State enforcing the law straight away, when the first illegal business opened up.
The Binyamin Regional Council can now go ahead with their plan to add more lanes to the road, improving the lives of all the region’s residents.
We’re satisfied with this success, and will continue to advocate for law and order, equal enforcement and equal protection under the law as our only bulwark against chaos – now and always. To support our activities, make an online, tax-deductible donation here.
As a result of our petition, a massive junkyard that was blighting the countryside and polluting the groundwater in the Binyamin region was cleared. Countless wrecks had been piling up for years at an illegal automotive scrapyard near Bir Zeit, polluting topsoil and groundwater with untreated effluents and automotive waste.
About eight months ago, we turned to the Civil Administration to demand the clearance of the illegal junkyard. But the Civil Administration tried to shirk their responsibilities, claiming that enforcement can’t be carried out at “junkyards on private lands”. This was a ridiculous claim and defies the law that explicitly gives the Civil Administration the authority to remove vehicle wrecks from “the public or private domain”. So we had to submit a petition to the Jerusalem District Court to give them a nudge.
And indeed, recently, the Civil Administration issued orders for the owner to clear all the vehicles and to restore the area within 30 days. In recent weeks, the owner removed hundreds, if not thousands, of the old cars and dismantled the illegal garage. We are hopeful that in the coming days and weeks the rest of the area will be cleared, and this environmental hazard will be lifted.
Automotive waste and untreated effluents that pollute the groundwater don’t distinguish between Jewish and Arab lands. Environmental abuse is not a right- or left-wing issue, and doesn’t stop at the Green Line. We shall continue to push for equal law enforcement throughout the Land of Israel, the protection of Israel’s land resources and the environment.
At the largest illegal dump in Judea and Samaria, untreated waste continues to pollute the entire ecosystem – and no indictments are in sight.
Under cover of the first corona shutdown, the Ramallah Municipality dumped thousands of truckloads of untreated refuse into an abandoned quarry at the headwaters of Nahal Makoch. The Civil Administration admits: Only three trucks were impounded, and no indictments were filed against the criminals. Regavim: “The mountain of waste remains, despite the Civil Administration’s claims to the contrary.”
The mountain of waste dumped during the first corona lockdown by the Ramallah Municipality at the Nahal Makoch water basin is made up of more than 10,000 cubic meters of household and industrial waste. More than six months after the Regavim Movement filed an official complaint, “Mount Trashmore” remains precisely as it was, and in an official response to Regavim’s recent query, the Civil Administration admited that no indictments have been filed against those responsible for this environmental disaster.
Last year, during the first closure imposed to combat the spread of the corona virus, the Ramallah Municipality took advantage of the furlough of enforcement inspectors, and over the course of just a few weeks, thousands of garbage trucks dumped their contents into an abandoned quarry located only hundreds of meters from Binyamin Region Police Headquarters.
Last summer, after Regavim sent an urgent alert to the Civil Administration (CA), which is responsible for law enforcement in the area, the CA replied that they had halted all further dumping at the site and had carried out a number of enforcement actions. Regavim submitted a freedom of information request, to obtain details of the enforcement activity. From the CA’s reply, received earlier this week, we learned that in fact only two garbage trucks and an excavator were impounded, and the vehicles’ owners were charged only for the impound expenses.
⚠️ Despite the Civil Administration’s promises, the ‘Corona dump’ near Shaar Binyamin in Area C remains uncleared! And despite being caught in the act, the dumpers haven’t been indicted. ? THREAD pic.twitter.com/2r662dvkxA
The Civil Administration admitted that although the perpetrators were caught in the act, no indictments have been filed against them. In addition, the huge mountains of trash have not yet been removed from the area, contrary to the Civil Administration’s statement that “the owner of the machinery is required to remove the waste and level the area,” and that “these steps were completed out some time ago.”
“Almost a year has passed, and not one of the authorities responsible for dealing with hazards of this nature has taken responsibility,” explains Eitan Melet, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria. “The criminals got off virtually scot-free, with no criminal indictments, no clean-up costs, no punitive fines – but the entire ecosystem is paying a heavy price. The heaps of untreated garbage contaminate the topsoil, and runoff flows into the nearby creek channel, seeping into the groundwater, polluting the Makoch Valley and Wadi Qelt. This is eco-terrorism, and the official bodies that should be responding to it with swift, decisive action to repair the environmental damage and create a deterrent for other eco-criminals – the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Civil Administration – are allowing this monumental failure to persist.”
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A Zionist NGO dedicated to preserving Israel's resources.