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Volume 58, March 2009

Adalah: Implementation of New Regional Master Plan for Daliyat al-Carmel will Result in the Demolition of 600 Homes Belonging to Arab Citizens

On 12 March 2009, Adalah submitted a petition to the Haifa Administrative Court on behalf of 43 Palestinian citizens of Israel, all residents of the village of Daliyat al-Carmel, against a decision by the planning authorities to approve the new regional master plan for the village (No. AD/300), and demanding that a new plan be drafted in its place.

Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara argued in the petition that the previous master plan has been in place since 1978. Since that time, the municipal area of the village has not increased, and new areas for building and construction have not been designated, despite the subsequent increase in the village's population. As a result, the residents of Daliyat al-Carmel have been forced to build new homes outside of designated residential areas. The new regional plan, which was approved last year, ignores the existence of these new houses and has effectively placed them outside the legal borders of the village.

Adalah further argues that under the new master plan, the areas designated for the construction of new homes are areas which are already populated. Moreover the plan also designates some of these populated areas for alternative uses, such as public areas, a series of roads and a main thoroughfare that will connect the city of Haifa to Route 6 (the Trans-Israel Highway), which is currently planned to cut through Daliyat al-Carmel. The implementation of this plan would lead to the demolition of some 600 homes.

The new regional plan would also curtail the future economic development of the village, as the existing industrial area has been reduced from 134 dunams to just 81 dunams. This would deter the setting up of new businesses and light industry in the village and could result in current businesses relocating, to the obvious detriment of the village economy.

Adalah further contended that the new plan imposes limits on the construction of agricultural structures, which would prevent a large number of families from continuing to make a living from agriculture, a main source of income for many families.

The residents of Daliyat al-Carmel have previously submitted objections to this new regional master plan to the planning authorities, but they were all rejected. Adalah then submitted an appeal to the National Committee for Planning and Building on behalf of the villagers, but this objection was also rejected, as a result of which they are now approaching the court.

Adalah argued that executing the plan as it currently stands, and demolishing hundreds of homes that built without permits as a result of the failure of the planning authorities to draft a new plan for the village constitutes a grave violation of the constitutional rights of the residents of Daliyat al-Carmel to property and dignity.

The Petition (Hebrew)