ACAP and the Public Committee of Dahmash Submit a Petition to the District Court against the Refusal of the Recognition of the Village

Publishing date: 25/09/2012

The Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP) and the Public Committee of Dahmash submitted a petition to the district court of Petah Tikva  (presented by counselor Kais Naser), against the National Council of Planning and Building and the central district of  the building committee  after both offices rejected the planned recognition of the village.

The citizens of Dahmash, in cooperation with ACAP, submitted three years ago a Master plan to help the organization and recognition process and avert the threat of demolition of homes.  ACAP has been working with the village locals for many years led by planner Enaya Banna-Geries. Unfortunately, the District Committee in Ramle rejected the plan despite the positive atmosphere that prevailed committee discussions and despite the importance of the alternative plans given by the citizens of Dahmash. The claim that the District Committee gave to justify its rejection of the scheme was that the ratification of the plan means the establishment of a new town, a concept which is rejected by the District Committee.   This led ACAP and the public committee to appeal to the National Council for Planning and Building, which in turn refused to outline an alternative.

ACAP and the citizens of Dahmash had no other option but to pursue legal actions hoping that the court would change the villages unrecognized status, where citizens live in poverty without even basis services. 
Mr. Arafat Ismail, head of the local public committee in Dahmash stated:  "I am surprised that the District Committee and the National Council rejected the alternative plan that we presented.  The District Committee worked with us throughout the process and urged us to provide an alternative plan to solve the problems of the village and its recognition.  Thus, their failure to approve this recognition is strange and reprehensible."

Ismail added:  "We will not give up our right to our own land and to be recognized with the territories influenced by the Emek Lod Regional Council.  Our community will continue the struggle and do everything necessary to get the recognition we deserve."
Lawyer Kais Nasser commented on the decision and stated: "The regional appeal  committee  of the  Council  of Planning and Building  completely ignored the fact that we are talking about a village that has been standing for decades.  Also, the Commission rejected waiting for the findings of the Boundary Commission, which discusses the current possibility of organizing Dahmash at the local level, and all this shows that the appeal committee did not handle the case openly and fairly.  I think that the decision aims to put pressure on the people of Dahmash to agree to join the city of Lod, which was rejected by the local population. I thank the Arab Center for Alternative Planning and planner Enaya Banna-Geries for their support on this issue for many years."
The Court has stated that the hearing for the appeal will be held on 9.12.2012.
Facts about Dahmash:
The population of Dahmash  is  about 600 citizens, comprised from 92 different families.  The average size of a family is 6.5 individuals.  The average age of the population is about 16.9 years and the birth rate is annually increasing at a rate of 5%.  The population is expected to reach 1,000 by the start of 2020.  Dahmash was founded before 1948 has never been recognized as a town or village by the government of Israel. The village is located southeast of the city Lod and south of the city of Ramle. The citizens of Dahamsh receive all of their civil and health services from neighboring towns. Dahamsh lacks all appropriate infrastructures.  The village is spread over 170 dunams, all of which are owned personally by the village citizens. About 70 dunams have been used for building homes, and the rest is used for agriculture proposes.