Mount Carmel National Park Land Cleared for Daliat al-Carmel Development

By Aryeh Stern

MK Rabbi Yaakov Asher leads a committee meeting at the Knesset. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The committee chaired by MK Rabbi Yaakov Asher (United Torah Judaism), as the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, convened and endorsed a directive permitting the removal of land from Mount Carmel National Park. This action aims to advance a comprehensive plan for the Daliat al-Carmel Local Council, involving 1,142 dunams across five segments in the southern area of Daliat al-Carmel. The rezoning is intended to regulate the town’s boundaries, ensuring planned and environmentally conscious development.

Michal Meril from the Israel Planning Administration elaborated on the ongoing substantial planning changes in Druze localities. Comprehensive outline plans have been formulated, addressing various needs such as housing, tourism, and employment. Notably, two major plans in Daliat al-Carmel depend on the current rezoning authorization — 3,200 housing units in western Daliat al-Carmel and an additional plan for over 700 housing units. Meril also mentioned the focus on land reparcellation within each locality.

Rafik Halabi, head of the Daliat al-Carmel Local Council, expressed gratitude to Committee Chair Rabbi Asher and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel (Shas) for swiftly approving the order. Halabi emphasized the imperative to protect the park and nature while lamenting the challenges faced due to stringent regulations and fines imposed under the Kaminitz law.

MK Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beitenu) highlighted the undue hardships faced by Druze communities living within nature reserves. He stressed the need to have permits in hand for progress and criticized the Kaminitz law, suggesting it would be eliminated if similar issues were faced by Jewish localities.

MK Youssef Atauna (Hadash-Ta’al) underlined the plight of Arab society, particularly in unrecognized villages in the Negev, where residents lack permits and face constant threats of demolition. He urged the advancement of recognized planning in these villages to allow lawful construction.

Chairman Rabbi Asher proposed honoring fallen Druze soldiers by naming streets within the new plans in Daliat al-Carmel after them. Expressing gratitude for the order’s approval, he acknowledged the privilege of supporting the Druze community during challenging times.

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