Regavim’s field coordinator, Eitan Melet, in action

Here’s a story that didn’t start off well, but ended with a good deed and a huge smile.

Around two weeks ago, an Arab from East Jerusalem broke into the car of our field coordinator Eitan Melet. The thief smashed the window with a massive rock, and stole the drone and other expensive equipment that Eitan uses to document and monitor the illegal Palestinian takeover of Judea and Samaria, as well as other issues we deal with.

Immediately after the drone was stolen, Eitan sought advice from the followers of his personal Twitter account, asking whether he should file a report with the police or if that would be a waste of time and effort.

Only a few days passed, and one special and generous man called our field coordinator, voiced his support, and decided to contribute his part to the story. He told Eitan: “For a while already, I’ve considered donating to Regavim, and once I heard about your unfortunate incident, I decided to donate money that can be used to buy a new drone.”

This was a moving gesture; we are extremely grateful.

Everything we do at Regavim is thanks to you, our friends and supporters, in Israel and around the world.

The challenges we encounter require advanced technology, hidden cameras, and other expensive equipment we can take out into the field. If you would like to play a part, make an online, tax-deductible donation here.

Illegal construction in Nahalin

We’ve been in the business of protecting Israel’s land resources for many years, but this episode is something we’ve never encountered before. In one of our recent legal cases, the Jerusalem District Court accepted the Civil Administration’s narrative, despite its neglectful conduct, and decided to hit Regavim with a 10,000 shekels fine!

Let’s start from the beginning.

A year ago, we told you about the illegal expansion of the Nahalin village in Gush Etzion. The moment the new plots began to be developed (illegally!), we recognized the threat posed to the nearby community of Rosh Tzurim, which is being choked.

We approached the Civil Administration, an official enforcement body of the State of Israel that must act in accordance with the law, to demand law enforcement at the site. However, the CA didn’t do much. Inspectors came to the site and hung up stop work orders, but construction continued relentlessly. The orders were completely ignored, and the area is now an illegal, Arab neighborhood.

After we sent more alerts to the authorities and didn’t receive any proper responses, we filed a petition with the Jerusalem District Court against the Civil Administration. As usual, the CA told the judges that enforcement at the site would happen “in accordance with established enforcement priorities”. This was not surprising.

However, this time, instead of criticizing the CA for not doing its job, the Court bought the excuse of “enforcement priorities”! Our petition was rejected, and we were charged with the expenses, a hefty fine totaling ₪10,000.

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The Civil Administration’s goal is to exhaust Regavim, and to make us relinquish our efforts. You see, CA officials don’t really like it when we submit petitions and alerts, and when we present their deficiencies in the media and elsewhere. The CA prefers to deflect public criticism, attempting to hide their failures.

With each petition we file, we know that there is a chance that it will be rejected. But we are always guided by the importance of our mission, first and foremost: the protection of Israel’s resources and preservation of sovereignty. If Regavim didn’t exist, the situation on the ground would be much worse.

We call on you, our friends and supporters in Israel and abroad, to help us cover the costs. In order to continue our Zionist activities, and to point out the shortcomings of Israel’s enforcement bodies, we need your help. Make an online, tax-deductible donation here.

Aerial map of Nahalin; numbers indicate illegal structures