Group Demands Crackdown on ‘Car Graveyards’

View of the Lower Galilee. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Regavim movement, which works to ensure the integrity of ownership of land in Israel, has filed complaints with authorities on the use of state and private land in northern Israel by Arabs for use as “car graveyards.” According to the organization, Arabs have dumped thousands of hulks of burned-out vehicles in national parks, vineyards, and farmland. The group said that the vehicles endanger Israelis, and mar the landscape.

One of the biggest such graveyards is outside the Galilee village of Rama. Hundreds of shells of vehicles are scattered around roads and fields in the areas, along with car parts, engines, and other dangerous items. Regavim has sent numerous letters to local and regional authorities, the organization said in a statement, but these have gone unanswered. Because of the lack of action, Regavim has sued the Rama local authority, in a suit filed in the Haifa District Court. The suit demands that the local authority close down the graveyard and get it cleaned up, as it is a business operating illegally.

“There is a complete disregard for the law in northern Israel, and no one is enforcing the law,” Regavim said in a statement. “Hundreds of dunams of fertile land have turned into graveyards for thousands of vehicles. Anyone who wants to start a business, like a dump, does so in any manner they please, with no regard for regulation or anything else. We believe in small business as a way to increase the standard of living in the north, but we cannot reconcile with the current situation where this behavior is ruining the environment.”

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