A new report by the State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has revealed widespread and systematic failures in the army’s Civil Administration, which manages construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria where the EU has been funding rampant illegal Arab construction.
The report, released on Monday afternoon, accuses the Civil Administration of failing to enforce property rights and construction laws, essentially turning a blind eye to the rampant illegal building across Judea and Samaria.
Shapira noted, for example, that the Civil Administration had failed to establish working procedures for addressing illegally constructed buildings, leaving inspection teams without clear guidelines for checking up on existing cases or moving the enforcement process forward.
As a result, large numbers of illegal buildings have been identified by Civil Administration inspectors, but relatively few have been demolished.
In the report, Shapira lambasted the failure of the Civil Administration to uphold the law, arguing that given the low rate of enforcement, the law was effectively nullified.
“The low level of enforcement [of building laws] in Judea and Samaria seriously damages the rule of law and equality before the law.”
In many cases the Civil Administration’s own behavior hampered enforcement efforts. While demolition orders are frequently given for illegal buildings, the administration’s slow handling of requests for retroactive recognition often prevents demolitions from taking place, even if recognition is ultimately denied.
The report found that a majority of illegal structures built between 2008 and 2013 were never dismantled. Even many buildings marked as high priority for demolitions were never destroyed.