Netanyahu gives directive to expedite demolition of illegal homes in Arab sector

Move comes as Dec. 25 deadline for Amona evacuation approaches.

December 17, 2016 20:54
2 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)

In the run-up to the December 25 deadline for the evacuation of Amona, Prime Minister Benjamin on Saturday night spoke with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan about plans to enforce laws against illegal building in the Arab sector as well.

In recent days Netanyahu has express determination to “equalize the enforcement of the law” against illegal building, both in the Arab and Jewish sectors. Netanyahu has held two meeting in recent weeks to discuss enforcing the law in the Arab sector, and in the coming days a number of demolition orders are expected for illegally built homes in the Arab sector in the North, the South and in east Jerusalem.

In one of the recent meetings Netanyahu said, “There will not be discrimination in the realm of construction. There will be equal enforcement of the law in Israel, both for Jews and Arabs.”

In a video message Netanyahu posted to Facebook on Friday and addressed to the “residents of Amona,” the premier said that Israel is a nation of laws, and that the judgments of the courts obligate everyone, including the government.

“But the law has to be equal,” he said. “The same law that obligates the evacuation of Amona, obligates as well the evacuation of other illegal construction in other parts of the country.”

As a result, he said, he has ordered that the demolition process against illegal homes in the Negev, Wadi Ara, the Galilee and the center of the country be expedited.

“I am not willing for there to be discrimination in the enforcement of building laws between Israeli citizens, between Jews and Arabs, one person and another,” he said. “I will fight for there to be one law for all, and the same enforcement for all, something that has not been the case – until now – for decades.”

Netanyahu, who said his “heart was with” the Amona residents, acknowledged that they were in a difficult period, but reiterated that “the government is committed to settlement in Judea and Samaria. We are committed to it more than any other government in the history of the state.”

For this reason, he said, “the government did everything possible to find a solution that would keep the residents in place. Unfortunately,” he added, “our recommendations were not accepted.”

Netanyahu urged the Amona residents to act responsibly in the coming days, and not to raise a hand against IDF soldiers or the security forces. “They are our sons, the apple of our eyes, dear to us and the ones who defend us all. There is no place for violence. “ He also called on parents in Amona to keep children and youth out of the struggle. “I call on all the leaders to demonstrate national responsibility at this time,” he said. “The unity of Israel is a supreme value and the source of our strength. We are one people. We are brothers.”

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