Three years ago, Ehud Olmert, in his final year as Mayor of Jerusalem, cooperated in the publication of a 170 page study entitled “Illegal Housing in Jerusalem”,, published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and directed by former UN Ambassador Dr. Dore Gold.
That study concluded that the construction of more than 6000 unlawful buildings in the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem had reached “epidemic proportions”.

The study advised strong action from Israel’s law enforcement establishment.

Now Olmert, as acting Prime Minister,refuses to discuss enforcement of the law in regard to enforcing the law in regard to illegal buildings in the Arab sector in Jerusalem.

Yet Olmert dispatched thousands of troops to remove nine homes built by Jews.

On Sunday, January 29th, ISRAEL RESOURCE NEWS AGENCY posed a formal question to the office of the Prime Minister to inquire about whether, indeed, Olmert will enforce the law concerning thousands of illegal homes in Jerusalem.

An official source in the prime minister’s office responded that just before his second stroke, Prime Minister Sharon ordered a special unit in the police to enforce the law in regard to these illegal homes in Jerusalem, and referred reporters to the Israeli police.

However, the Israeli police spokesman answered t that the special unit in charge of enforcement of the building violations had received no recent authorization to function, but that some demolitions had taken place.

The Prime Minister’s office was again asked about the principle of enforcing the law concerning thousands of illegal Arab homes, while the Israeli government was investing unprecedented energy to demolish unauthorized Jewish homes.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman, Assaf Shariv, responded that “this year, the Israeli government had destroyed five times the amount of Arab homes in Jerusalem that it had destroyed in Gush Katif”. That would mean Israel had 4,000 Arab homes in Israel’s capital.

However, The Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions, the organization that expresses virulent opposition to Israeli home demolition policies in the Arab sector, told ISRAEL RESOURCE NEWS AGENCY that exactly 92 Arab homes had been destroyed in Jerusalem over the past three years. Not 4,000.

Yet PM Spokesman Shariv stuck to his figures, and referred reporters, once more, to the police.

Police Spokesman Mickey Rosen repeated that the police have received no authorization to act.

The reality remains that the government of Israel use thousands of troops to destroy Jewish homes and will not do the same for the Arab sector.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.