The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee`s Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, headed by MK Mordhay Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi), held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the efforts to prevent illegal Palestinian construction in Area C.
Yogev said the illegal construction was part of a strategic Palestinian plan aimed at creating facts on the ground and preventing the expansion of Jewish communities such as Ma`ale Adumim.
He said that while illegal construction exists also in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, it is on a much smaller scale and takes place within existing communities. Illegal Palestinian construction takes place unsupervised, and a large part of it is being funded or aided by European countries and international organizations, the subcommittee chairman said.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major-General Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, refuted the claims that his office was not enforcing the measures aimed at curbing illegal Palestinian construction, and said that he had recently appointed a brigadier general in the army reserves to promote dialogue with Bedouins in Judea and Samaria with the goal of regulating their communities in the region.
”Progress has already been made because the Bedouins realize that we are serious,” Mordechai said.
He further told the committee that his office has repeatedly approached embassies of countries that support illegal Palestinian construction or are home to organizations that back such construction and clarified to them that these actions were illegal. ”We are also enforcing [the law] and razing illegal structures,” Mordechai stressed.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (HaBayit HaYehudi) said that while he has a lot of respect for all the elements in the field, ”we cannot ignore the results on the ground and the fact that the problem has not been solved.” He said his grievances ”lie mainly with those who define the policy, and they are the prime minister and defense minister, who issued a directive banning the destruction of structures that were funded by international organizations.”