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Under our noses, the illegal Kfar Kassem Commercial Zone

In the last few years, in central Israel, next to Kfar Kassem and on lands zoned for agricultural use, an enormous commercial zone has popped up illegally.

With massive warehouses, garages, stores, factories, and sprawling over more than 2000 dunams, the commercial zone is the largest illegal one in Israel.

What’s so problematic about the Kfar Kassem commercial zone?

First and foremost, it creates enormous environmental damage! Dozens of factories and industrial buildings are operating without inspection, oversight, or supporting infrastructure, causing pollution of the air, the ground, and groundwater.

Add to that severe safety hazards. Many of the buildings in the commercial zone were built unsafely, obstructing the national infrastructure corridor, under high-voltage power lines, and dangerously close to a busy highway.

And if that’s not enough, lives are put at risk! As heavy vehicles try their luck at getting in and out of the commercial zone through newly made ‘passages’, drivers and passengers on Route 5, which is closely adjacent, are in danger.

Last June, we submitted a petition to the District Court in Lod demanding that the law be enforced, and the major environmental and safety hazards prevented.

Last week, there was a court hearing on the matter. The State admitted that this is a ‘mega-issue’ and that criminals are active at the site.

We found the State’s official response sorely lacking. For its part, the court required a follow-up hearing for a more in-depth look at the hazardous conditions that have resulted from the authorities’ negligence.

Time to shut down this massive illegal enterprise – quickly!

Regavim: Preserving Israel’s Resources, Restoring Israeli Sovereignty