2,300 new homes for ultra-Orthodox Jews in Arab Wadi ‘Ara

2,300 new homes for ultra-Orthodox Jews in Arab Wadi ‘Ara

Adalah. 27/05/2013
 Adalah The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights – <adalah@adalah.org>

Detailed plan for Harish designates 2,300 units for ultra-Orthodox Jews, contradicting Housing Minister’s statement that “Harish is open for all”

On 20 May 2013, Adalah and the Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP) submitted an objection to the Special Committee for Planning and Building of Harish against the detailed plan for this proposed new city. The plan openly states that 2,300 housing units in the city are designated for ultra-Orthodox Jews only.

Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara and ACAP Urban planner Ania Bana-Jeries emphasized that this designation contradicts previous statements made by the Israeli Housing Minister that Harish will be open for all. Harish is planned at the heart of Wadi Ara, a majority-Palestinian area located in central Israel.

Submission of detailed plan before approval of master plan contradicts law

The detailed plan includes parts of the master plan that have not been fully approved, and were not detailed in prior plans. Therefore, local residents and public organizations have not had a chance to object to the new zones.

The plan contradicts the goal of the National Master Plan to separate residential land use from agricultural land or nature preserves.

Additionally, the submission of the detailed plan contradicts the National Planning and Building Law, which lays out a clear hierarchy where detailed plans must be subordinate to master plans, and cannot contradict their instructions.

Adalah: New plan conflicts with land planning fundamentals

Attorney Suhad Bishara stresses that the submission of the detailed plan strips the objection procedures of their content and purpose. “The new plan violates the objectioners’ rights to appeal to the National Council of Planning and Building (NCPB) if their objections are rejected at the local level. It conflicts with one of the primary fundamentals of planning policy: the right of the public to participate in the planning and construction of their environment.”

ACAP: Implications for surrounding residents unexamined

Urban planner Ania Bana-Jeries points out that Harish is in the heart of the Arab Wadi Ara area. The new city’s construction has massive implications for the surrounding Arab localities. Harish is being created from expropriated land from these surrounding Arab municipalities, and cuts off their potential expansion and development.

Bana-Jeries adds, “There has been no substantial examination of the future effects or impact that Harish will have on the surrounding Arab municipalities, or on the infrastructural impact of so many new homes and residents.”

Planning authorities have refused to acknowledge pre-1948 village

Ahmed Melham, Head of the Popular Committee to Defend Wadi ‘Ara pointed out that government approval for a city for religious Jews in the area was based on the lack of acknowledgement of the Arab village of Dar el-Hanoun beside Harish.

Dar El-Hanoun was created prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The residents of Dar El-Hanoun have worked for over 20 years to gain recognition for their village, without success. In fact, many residents were given demolition orders against their homes. The planning authorities have always refused recognition, claiming that the village is located in an area with a green landscape slated for conservation, which prevents residents from living there.

See also:

Court Refuses to Ban Jewish Ultra-Orthodox Organizations from Buying Up Land in City of Harish; Adalah Forced to Withdraw Petition – 31 January 2013

Adalah and the Arab Center for Alternative Planning Submit Objection and Letter to Minister of Construction and Housing Against Plans and Bids for Newly Proposed Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Town of Harish in Arab Wadi ‘Ara Area in Israel – 13 October 2010

Image: A sign welcoming visitors to Harish


Read More: Land and planning

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