State asserts illegal construction in Golan has ceased

majdal shams 298.88 (photo credit: GPO)
majdal shams 298.88
(photo credit: GPO)
The Northern District Attorney’s Office is studying evidence of massive building violations by the Druse Waqf in Majadal Shams in the Golan Heights. So the state informed the High Court of Justice earlier this week, after evidence was collected by a specially appointed investigatory team.
The announcement was part of the state’s response to a petition filed on October 27 by Regavim, an organization whose declared aim is to “protect the national lands.” The petition was Regavim’s second on the matter.
According to the first charge, the Waqf had begun infrastructure work without permits in two sections of land that were mostly outside the boundaries of the town planning scheme.
The court rejected the petition after the state informed the court it had established an investigatory committee, and that for the moment, all work on the two sites had ceased.
Last week, Regavim petitioned again, charging that the state had not done enough to prevent the original illegal building. Moreover, asserted Regavim, infrastructure work was still going on, and the developers had begun building four buildings in a new area not part of the original petition.
In its response to the petition, the state acknowledged that the petitioners were correct that the Druse construction was illegal. “There is no dispute over the fact that the construction activity was carried out in violation of the Planning and Building Law, without permits and where a significant part of the activity took place beyond the boundaries of the town planning scheme for the area.” So wrote the state’s representatives, attorneys Sharon Rotshenker and Moriah Frieman in their response to the new petition.
“This activity included encroaching on land, most of which is owned by the state.”
However, the state also updated the court on the progress made by the special committee investigating the original complaints. It said the committee had completed its findings, and had passed them on to the Northern District Attorney’s Office which was weighing what measures, if any, to take against the violators.
Furthermore, the committee had already begun investigating the new complaints, raised in the second petition. The state wrote that according to police, no infrastructure work has been carried out since October 24. And while the four new buildings were being constructed without a permit, they were located within the boundaries of the town planning scheme.
Meir Deutch, head of Regavim, told The Jerusalem Post that he visited the construction site on October 26 with a Channel 10 news television crew, and discovered that tractors were at work preparing the ground.