Last night's event featuring Ari Briggs from the organization Regavim was a resounding success, and was both fascinating and profoundly disturbing. A room full of rapt listeners and avid questioners saw Ari's presentation, which documented unbridled illegal Arab construction throughout Israel, much of it funded and backed by the European Union (EU).
Much of this construction occurs within Judea and Samaria. Under the protection of darkness, trucks unload metal pre-fab houses with electrical and plumbing hookups, all sponsored and paid for by the EU. Once the buildings are up, the EU, with unmitigated in-your-face chutzpah, places large EU banners and flags on the buildings' sides, challenging the Israelis to do something about it.
This illegal building in Judea and Samara is occurring in Area C, which according to agreements signed by Israel and the PA, is under complete Israeli jurisdiction. Within Area C, the Arabs, with EU backing, are challenging Israel's control of the E1 territory east of Jerusalem. This land area connects Jerusalem to the nearby city of Maale Adumim, and is critical to ensure Israel's continued control of Jerusalem and overall security. The Arabs are placing facts on the ground to provide for territorial contiguity between Ramallah in the north to Jericho in the south, and thus prevent Israel from controlling the land east of Jerusalem.
Surprising to many in attendance last night was the disclosure that there is also significant illegal Arab building in the Negev and Galilee, both in vacant areas and built-up areas, including along roadways.
Unfortunately, past Israeli governments have been loathe to act on this illegal activity. However, Regavim works tirelessly to document and fight this illegal Arab construction. They take photographs and videos, monitor and challenge the movement of trucks delivering construction materials, and take violators to court. Against all odds, they have begun to seep into the collective consciousness of Israelis, waking them up to the dangers that this illegal construction presents.
Regavim needs our assistance, as their vital work requires resources and funding. Please visit their website at: regavim.org.il/en/. Also check out their Facebook page at: facebook.com/pages/Regavim/259585924100042?fref=ts.
Also, please read the following two very timely articles about recent Regavim activity:
Times of Israel: Tracking illegal Arab construction, one EU-funded house at a time
Jerusalem Post: EU flags flying over illegal PA construction