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The Ram Pond: Vanishing Beauty

 

The Ram Pond in the Golan Heights is a natural gem. This natural sweet-water lake was formed at the foot of Mount Hermon in one of Israel’s rare volcano craters.

On the banks of the lake, palatial villas and guesthouses are being built illegally, and no one has done a thing about it.

The ongoing saga of the Ram Pond is one small example of what Regavim does, and how we do it. Our field staff identified illegal construction, researched the land rights, documented the illegal activity, and petitioned the relevant authorities: Regavim turned to the Ma’aleh Hermon Municipality’s Planning and Construction Committee a year ago, but our inquiry was ignored; only after the National Unit for Enforcement of Land Law in the North got involved, the Committee informed us that they had initiated a special project, named “Spring Flowers,” to enforce the law in the area.

Regavim monitored the site, as we do in all cases of illegal construction that we report, and our findings were dire: In practice, not only have the structures remained, undisturbed, as they were when we first contacted the Planning Committee – but several new illegal structures have sprung up in the interim.

This led to the next stage in Regavim’s efforts: We submitted a petition to the Nazareth District Court, which is still pending. Unfortunately, the heavy machinery has continued its work at the site unabated throughout the process.

This almost unimaginable neglect is what Regavim is battling all across the country, from the Negev to the Golan. In this case, the official State body that is empowered to put a stop to this madness is fully aware of what’s happening at the Ram Pond, but rather than taking action, it is sitting back and letting this criminal destruction of Israel’s natural beauty continue, unhindered. Regavim stands at the front lines every day, using all legal means to compel the State to take action and exercise its sovereignty.

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