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The people behind Regavim who live inillegally built homes

The hypocrisy of the organization, Regavim, is coming to light - today a comprehensive investigation conducted by Yedioth Ahronoth reveals the simple truth: the organization's activists, who claim to act to enforce legal construction, live in illegally built homes.

Since the establishment of the organization Regavim in 2006, its activists have specialized in harassing the weakest Palestinian communities in Area C (such as Khan al-Ahmar and Palestinian Susiya) — the same communities that Israeli planning authorities refuse to allow to build legally, due to their desire to push them out of their areas of residence.

 

In order to promote what they call a "Zionist agenda," Regavim activists have filed dozens of petitions to date (that vast majoritymost of which were rejected by the court), whose immoral goal is to create "balanced deterrence" against petitions by Palestinian landowners whose land settlers have invaded, and (baseless) "symmetry" between the situation of Palestinians living in Area C, and that of settlers who receive pampering and preferential treatment in every conceivable aspect. In this context it should be noted that Regavim's employees are among the initiators of the "Regulation Law," which was intended to enable the formal expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land taken over by settlers.

 

Although Regavim was born in the settlements and to this day most of its employees are settlers, in recent years due to the transfer of large sums, budgets it received from various regional and local councils, its activities have spread to the Galilee and the Negev, two areas in which there is a large Arab population. Whether west or east of the Green Line, Regavim's agenda is the same: extreme nationalism and racism with the clear goal of pushing out Arab Palestinian communities wherever they are, whileand to entrenching and strengthening all suchthe institutional discrimination related to the distribution of land and resources to these communitiesthat has existed since the establishment of the State of Israel.

 

The organization's worldview may beis clear, though it hides behind niceties and flowery rhetoric. Here's a customer's quote from the organization's website:    

 

"In order for our children to live here and enjoy a land flowing with milk and honey, we must preserve the land, the nature, and the landscape, to ensure that no one will covet them for himself - in violation of the law and certainly not under its auspices - so that no one will harm them or make them their own, and so that no one may disinherit us from them… A generous portion of the damage detailed is made possible due to the ongoing operational failures of various state authorities, headed by the law enforcement system."

 

Are Regavim's employees indeed so troubled by the law enforcement system? The answer to this question can be found in an article published today in Yedioth Ahronoth. In

 

Over the past, we revealed that MK Smotrich, one of the initiators of the Regulation Law, and someone a person who grew up within the organization Regavim, lives in a house that was built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land in the settlement of Kedumim. But Smotrich is not alone in this story. A comprehensive investigation carried out by Kerem Navot, which focused on the legal statuses of Regavim's leading activists’ homes, past and the present, indicates that there is a group of construction offenders there, many of whom live on private Palestinian land. No less than 15 of their key staff members, including their current and previous executive directors, live or have lived until recently in illegally built homes. This is not a rare coincidence, but rather a methodology. Regavim is part of a group of settlers who are knee deep in illegal activity, which is an expression of the profane norms that have taken root among many residents of the settlements, especially the religious extremists among them.

 

This is, therefore, an organization that the law enforcement system couldn't care less about. In fact, findings from this investigation indicate that Regavim is the sworn enemy of the principle of the rule of law, which it uses manipulatively to strip it of its meaning.

 

So when they spin tales about the Regulation Law, remember that first and foremost, the folks from Regavim take care of themselves and their friends!

Kerem Navot is an Israeli NGO  established in 2012, which monitors and carries out research on  Israeli land policy in the West Bank. 

 

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