NGO to Barak: Demolish illegal Majdal Shams buildings

After Nakba Day events, Regavim tells ministers to raze 13 buildings along Israel-Syria border.

May 22, 2011 02:49
1 minute read.
Majdal Shams

Majdal Shams 311. (photo credit: GPO [file])

Following the aftermath of last Sunday’s Nakba Day events, on Thursday Israeli lands protection group Regavim sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the heads of the enforcement agencies, calling on them to demolish illegal buildings in Majdal Shams that Regavim claims were used by the Syrian protesters.

The letter, sent to Barak, as well as Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Internal Defense Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and local building enforcement agency heads, said Regavim inspectors identified 13 buildings located 20-50 meters from the Israel-Syria border, which were built without proper permits and enabled the Syrian protesters to cross the border undetected by the IDF outpost located near the village.

“It is likely that had the buildings not been situated so close to the border, the minimal security zone would have enabled the IDF troops to cordon off the event and prevent the widescale entrance of protesters that occurred,” read the letter.

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The letter added that even without the Nakba Day events, it is “not healthy” to have multi-story buildings so close to the border fence, since they create surveillance gaps and provide cover for future infiltrations.

Regavim Northern Regional Director, Meir Deutche, said that the group had warned the enforcement agencies about the building’s construction two years ago, when it first began, but that their warnings about the potential risks went unheeded.

Deutche said that the group had reasons to believe that the Druse residents of Majdal Shams, who constructed the buildings, had received support from Syria.

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