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WZO twists the law to build all mod cons settlement

World Zionist Organization funneled NIS 400,000 into infrastructure work at illegal West Bank outpost

Organization’s settlement division denies it carries out illegal construction.

By Chaim Levinson, Ha’aretz
August 19, 2013

The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division has financed NIS 400,000 worth of infrastructure work in the West Bank outpost of Negohot, even though the work was carried out without building permits.

Negohot, located in the western Hebron Hills, was built on the ruins of an army outpost in 1998. Over the years, the Housing Ministry built permanent houses there, and another outpost, called Mitzpeh Lachish, was set up nearby. Together, these two outposts are home to some 50 families. But neither has ever had an approved master plan, and therefore, there is no way to issue legal building permits.

Over the past two years, however, extensive infrastructure work has been done in Negohot, including construction of sidewalks and supporting walls, and upgrades of the water and sewage systems. Documents obtained by Haaretz show that the work was carried out by the Mount Hebron Regional Council, but some of the funding came from the WZO’s Settlement Division.

The Settlement Division functions as the state’s agent for building new communities and strengthening existing ones, both inside Israel and in the West Bank. Its budget comes from the state, and as Haaretz has previously reported, this budget grows every year. In 2012, it was originally supposed to be NIS 60 million, but had risen to NIS 272 million by the end of the year.

A report on unauthorized West Bank outposts that the state commissioned from attorney Talia Sasson in 2005 found serious flaws in the Settlement Division’s conduct. Inter alia, it found that the division regularly funded illegal construction in many locales.

In response to Sasson’s report, then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz issued orders barring the use of public funds for illegal construction. Those orders applied to all public bodies and explicitly defined legal construction as construction carried out in accordance with a valid master plan.

In addition, the Finance Ministry assigned an accountant to the Settlement Division to monitor its conduct. The accountant is subordinate to the treasury’s accountant general, and his task is to ensure that the division’s financial conduct complies with Israeli law.

Since then, violations of the rules like what happened at Negohot have become rare.

Negohot before its upgrade.

The Settlement Division confirmed that it helped Negohot upgrade its water and sewage system and build sidewalks and supporting walls to the tune of NIS 400,000 last year. It also acknowledged that Negohot doesn’t yet have an approved master plan.

Nevertheless, it said in a statement, “regrettably, this isn’t the only community, either in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] or within the State of Israel (“the Green Line”), which doesn’t have a valid master plan, for various reasons. To our great regret, these are claims that have also been made in the past regarding the legality of building in Judea and Samaria, inter alia in Talia Sasson’s report, and they received a detailed response, including a list of communities within the State of Israel that lack a valid master plan (the most famous of these, until recently, was Kfar Malal, the birthplace of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon), and were also addressed in the Levy Report.”

The Levy Report, issued last year by a panel of jurists headed by former Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, asserted Israel’s right to build throughout the West Bank.

“All Settlement Division work that requires permits is carried out in accordance with permits in principle issued by the planning committees, as per their authority,” the division’s statement continued.

“Execution of the work, whether directly by the Settlement Division or with its budgetary participation, goes through a tender process in the tenders committee in accordance with financial and administrative regulations. All work is done transparently, in broad daylight — a fact that cannot be denied.”

“The claim that the Settlement Division has ostensibly resumed financing illegal construction is an outrageous claim,” the statement concluded. “The Settlement Division, as stated above, has not financed and does not finance any illegal construction.”



Soldiers demonstrate against being told to evacuate the illegal Negohot settlemnt, 2009.

World Zionist Organization funneled NIS 400,000 into infrastructure work at illegal West Bank outpost

By Alray news agency
August 19, 2013

Jerusalem – The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division has financed NIS 400,000 worth of infrastructure work in the West Bank outpost of Negohot, even though the work was carried out without building permits.

Negohot, located in the western Hebron Hills, was built on the ruins of an army outpost in 1998. Over the years, the Housing Ministry built permanent houses there, and another outpost, called Mitzpeh Lachish, was set up nearby. Together, these two outposts are home to some 50 families. But neither has ever had an approved master plan, and therefore, there is no way to issue legal building permits.

Over the past two years, however, extensive infrastructure work has been done in Negohot, including construction of sidewalks and supporting walls, and upgrades of the water and sewage systems. Documents obtained by Haaretz show that the work was carried out by the Mount Hebron Regional Council, but some of the funding came from the WZO’s Settlement Division.

A report on unauthorized West Bank outposts that the state commissioned from attorney Talia Sasson in 2005 found serious flaws in the Settlement Division’s conduct. Inter alia, it found that the division regularly funded illegal construction in many locales.

In response to Sasson’s report, then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz issued orders barring the use of public funds for illegal construction. Those orders applied to all public bodies and explicitly defined legal construction as construction carried out in accordance with a valid master plan.Jerusalem, Alray – The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division has financed NIS 400,000 worth of infrastructure work in the West Bank outpost of Negohot, even though the work was carried out without building permits.

Negohot, located in the western Hebron Hills, was built on the ruins of an army outpost in 1998. Over the years, the Housing Ministry built permanent houses there, and another outpost, called Mitzpeh Lachish, was set up nearby. Together, these two outposts are home to some 50 families. But neither has ever had an approved master plan, and therefore, there is no way to issue legal building permits.

Over the past two years, however, extensive infrastructure work has been done in Negohot, including construction of sidewalks and supporting walls, and upgrades of the water and sewage systems. Documents obtained by Haaretz show that the work was carried out by the Mount Hebron Regional Council, but some of the funding came from the WZO’s Settlement Division.

A report on unauthorized West Bank outposts that the state commissioned from attorney Talia Sasson in 2005 found serious flaws in the Settlement Division’s conduct. Inter alia, it found that the division regularly funded illegal construction in many locales.

In response to Sasson’s report, then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz issued orders barring the use of public funds for illegal construction. Those orders applied to all public bodies and explicitly defined legal construction as construction carried out in accordance with a valid master plan.

 

Promo video for Negohot

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