Ir Amim slams state comptroller's report on J'lem building

Organization says that right-wing group was behind comptroller's report; says report flawed because ignores the causes of illegal construction.

311_Silwan houses (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
311_Silwan houses
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
In a press release bashing the state comptroller's recent report on illegal construction in east Jerusalem, Ir Amim - an organization whose slogan is "For an equitable and stable Jerusalem with an agreed political future - sent a letter of protest to the comptroller on Sunday.
The letter said, "it is clear that a private organization is involved in setting the agenda of the Comptroller in a matter of great significance." It goes on to say that Ir Amim learned "from reading the protocols of the Knesset's State Control Committee" that the organization is "'Betzedek', a known right-wing organization."
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The letter slammed the comptroller for apparently blurring the influence of a political organization on the "agenda of an important Knesset committee," and on that of the state comptroller, as well as hiding that influence.
Ir Amim wrote that "the main flaw in the report is the avoidance of a systematical (sic) and comprehensive discussion regarding the causes of the high amount of illegal construction in East Jerusalem, in general, and in al-Bustan in particular."
The organization called upon the state comptroller to issue "a comprehensive report" on the construction situation in east Jerusalem.
The referenced state comptroller's report, noted that the number of illegal structures in Silwan rose from 13 to 130 in 43 years.
The report, on illegal construction in east Jerusalem, said that between 1967 and 1995 the number had risen from 13 to 30, and jumped further to 130 last year.
Further, it said that 1,000 illegal structures built in the center of the city every year. A very low number of illegal structures have been demolished, and most of these have since been rebuilt without permits.
The State Comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, noted that the illegal building was the source of friction between residents and authorities, and that an improvement in the enforcement area would be of great benefit.