THE SOLUTION TO ENSURING SAFETY OF ALL CITIZENS IS THE EQUAL APPLICATION OF THE LAW
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JerusalemÂ —Â Regavim, a leading Israeli research-based legalÂ advocacyÂ organization, condemns the efforts of NGOs* to further undermine Israeli law and solidify illegal Bedouin settlement by filing a suit against the State of Israel in the Supreme Court demanding immediate allocation of shelters toÂ illegalÂ BedouinÂ encampmentsÂ in southern Israel.Â They have then used the suit and the Court’s rejection of their demand to prop up fictitious claims of mistreatment of the Bedouin Arab sector compared to Jewish citizens.
“Thousands ofÂ Bedouin settlementsÂ in the NegevÂ areÂ built illegallyÂ under the nose ofÂ the IsraeliÂ government with no regard to safety codes,” said Ari Briggs, International Director of Regavim.Â “The NGOs filing suit have a history of underminingÂ the State ofÂ Israel, and now they have found a way to further slander and distract Israel while the State is under attack. The only solution to Bedouin security is ensuring that Israeli law is applied equally to all citizens.”
Dedicated toÂ ensuring responsible, legal, and environmentally sound use of Israeli state land, RegavimÂ monitorsÂ more than 2,000 illegal Bedouin outposts in the Negev, warning that their severe violations of Israeli law, which amount to a mass land grab, cause danger to the State of Israel and to Israeli lives.
The spurious suit the NGOs brought to the Supreme Court on July 20 completely disregards facts on the ground and the integrity of Israeli law.Â Furthermore, bringing such a suit at a time of national crisis and sorrow reveals their harmful political intentions against the State and people of Israel.
Since the early 1990s,Â Israeli law requires safe rooms to be built inÂ all newÂ homes and commercial buildings, a responsibility that falls upon home and property owners — not the government.Â CitizensÂ who do not abide by governmentÂ safetyÂ codes place themselves at unnecessary risk of injury, fines or eviction. As a result of ignoring Israeli law, not only have Bedouin settlers not built safe rooms, they haveÂ erected thousands of homesÂ in the middle of open expanses of state-ownedÂ land in the Northern Negev where knowingly sirens do not reach.
Unfortunately, the government has turned a blind eye to rampant Bedouin illegal settlement. Regavim calls on the Israeli government to respond vigorously to the NGOs’ spurious claims. The best way of ensuring the safety of all citizens at all times, whether peace or war, is by equally applying the rule of law to all.
Regavim, aÂ legal advocacy organization, is dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. By investigating claims on the ground level, Regavim protects national land interests, presenting its findings in the form of white papers and legal action, in addition to briefing the press and diplomatic corps. For more information, visitÂ www.regavim.org.il/en/.
*The NGOs referred to in this release are Council of Unrecognized Villages, Physicians for Human Rights, Dukium NCF and ACRI.