Erdan: Deri Has No Right to Make ‘Deal’ on Illegal Arab Building

Gilad Erdan. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL
Israel Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL

A “deal” offered by Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri to legalize illegal Arab building extends his authority beyond its limits, said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. In remarks on social media Thursday, Erdan wrote that the deal was “very strange. Deri is no longer responsible for building issues – those responsibilities have been moved from Deri’s ministry to the Treasury. Deri has no right to enforce this supposed deal.”

Erdan was responding to a report on the Knesset Channel that the state would no longer demolish illegally built structures in Arab towns and villages, on condition that such building activity stop from now on. According to the report, the mayors and council heads of almost all Arab towns in Israel have accepted the proposal.

According to Israeli rights group Regavim, there are tens of thousands of such illegally built structures throughout the country. There are demolition orders against thousands of them that are not being enforced. Deri himself said during a Knesset discussion on the matter Wednesday that “there are 50,000 illegally built structures in the Arab sector, and there is little enforcement of laws on illegal building there.” With the deal, Deri believes, Israel will be spared any new illegal building,

According to Erdan, “to the best of my knowledge this decision is opposed to other decisions made by the government. I am not sure by what authority Deri is doing this.”