Pime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening instructed Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to step up enforcement measures against illegal construction in the Israeli Arab sector, in line with a new plan to tackle the issue expected in the coming days.

The plan refers to the demolition of illegal structures in central and southern Israel as well as in the Jerusalem area.

Netanyahu “is determined to see equal enforcement of the law regarding illegal construction, both in the Arab and Jewish sectors,” according to a source in Jerusalem, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Netanyahu’s request came a day after he posted a video on his Facebook page pledging to step up action against illegal construction across the country, intimating that the government would crack down on unlawful housing in the Arab sector.
The video in Hebrew was addressed to residents of Amona, an outpost deemed by the High Court to have been built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land. In the recording, Netanyahu insisted that the law on illegal construction “must be egalitarian. The same law that necessitates the evacuation of Amona, necessitates the evacuation of illegal construction elsewhere in our country,” he said.
The prime minister said he would insist on enforcing laws on illegal construction “in the Negev, in Wadi Ara, in the Galilee, in the center – all over the country.” He was apparently primarily referring to Israel’s Arabs and Bedouins, in whose communities illegal construction laws have not been enforced for decades.
“I will not have double standards on enforcing the law between citizens of Israel, between Jews and Arabs, between one person and the next,” he said.
“Dear residents of Amona, my heart is with you,” Netanyahu said in the video. “You are going through a tough time, you and your families and the rest of the people of Israel.”
The prime minister urged residents of the outpost not to resist its imminent evacuation, which is expected in the next few days.


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