Surrendering to Terrorism: Netanyahu Cancels Demolition of Illegal Arab Homes Due to “Tensions”
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been urging the Jerusalem municipality to speed up the demolition of houses belonging terrorists’ families in response to the wave of Arab violence, but according to an Army Radio report Tuesday, since the wave of terror began, the PM’s office has been ordering the cancellation of demolitions of illegal construction in east Jerusalem. Some call it awarding terrorism, others an attempt to avoid an even greater escalation.
In the heart of Beit Hanina, a predominantly [Arab] neighborhood five miles north of central Jerusalem, on the road to Ramallah, stands a large apartment building that was built illegally and has been slated for demolition for 10 years. On Monday it was scheduled to finally come down, when, at the last moment, it received the municipal equivalent of a reprieve from the governor: the Jerusalem municipality received a call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s staff, spelling out: “Because of the security tensions you do not have authorization to demolish the building.”
MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) told Army Radio that this constitutes a surrender to terrorism: “These are very serious elements of the loss of sovereignty, and this loss brings with it the loss of security — they’re links in a chain.” Yogev added: “When there is no law enforcement in simple areas like construction, trade, parking and transportation, it gives rise to nationalistic and security crime.”
According to Jerusalem municipal officials, the building in question claimed not only was built illegally, but it also is an eyesore harming the appearance of the neighborhood, and the need to demolish it is not political.
The demolition of the structure in question has already passed through the entire judicial hierarchy, including the Supreme Court, and the security agencies were positioned and ready to enter the neighborhood with an overwhelming force to facilitate the demolitions, when the last minute phone call came from Netanyahu’s office and the demolition was postponed until further notice.