Druse: There's still no deal on land for gas pipeline works

February 3, 2010 23:14
2 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Hundreds of police officers flanked the route of construction workers laying down gas pipes on agricultural land near Yokne’am on Wednesday, for fear that area Druse would attempt to disrupt the construction.

The precautions turned out to be superfluous, however, as only a few dozen people came out to protest the work.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

After construction was halted for two years, during which the state tried to reach a settlement with the Druse on land expropriations, the company in charge of laying the natural gas pipeline from Dor Beach, on the Carmel coastline, to the Haifa Bay, was given the green light to complete construction.

The pipeline is complete but for an 11-kilometer stretch in the middle, where the land disputes delayed it. Last month, the government announced it had determined a price for the expropriated land and that the construction would go ahead.

The price, however, was not agreed on with the Druse families whose lands the pipeline will cross, and the authorities feared that the protests would turn violent. In April 2008, the same land appropriations led to mass demonstrations, the blocking of roads and the hurling of stones and Molotov cocktails at police.

But Druse community leaders said yesterday that they would not resort to violence. Sheikh Mowafak Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze community told reporters that although that they had not reached an agreement with the government, the community would restrain itself.

“I believe we will have a meeting with all the leaders of the community and submit our objections and concerns to the government. We have no intention for things will turn violent and I personally will make sure that everything is resolved peacefully,” said Tarif.


The government, represented in negotiations by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai, has announced that the land appropriated, roughly 500 dunams (120 acres) would be exchanged for state land of equal value further to the north.

“When the state announced that an agreement had been reached, it was not accurate. The residents and the leadership sees the state’s unilateral announcement as an improper move that doesn’t honor the community. We have sent our objections to Gabai and we believe that the government will accept most of them,” said Eyal Hadid, the spokesman for the Daliat al-Carmel local council.

“We don’t see the land as mere real estate. For us it is of higher value. It is a matter of our roots. It is of ancestral importance to us,” explained Hadid.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town