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July 27, 1990 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-07-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Israeli Court Nullifies
Powers Given Sharon

Jerusalem (JTA) — Israel's
highest court dealt a serious
blow Tuesday to Housing
Minister Ariel Sharon's
crash program to build
emergency housing to meet
the surge in demand created
by the crush of immigrants
arriving in this country.
The High Court of Justice
nullified the emergency
powers the Cabinet had
granted Sharon on July 1,
after the outspoken Likud
minister insisted it was
mandatory to cut through
the red tape to quickly alle-
viate one of Israel's worst
housing crises ever.
The court upheld a petition
filed by Knesset member
Avraham Poraz of the
center-left Shinui party, who
argued that the government
could cope with the housing
crisis via existing laws.
Sharon had intended to
import 3,000 prefabricated
homes and prepare for 8,000
more units, and was
scouting areas throughout
the country in which to erect
them. He had also voiced in-
tentions to house immi-
grants temporarily in hotels
and youth hostels.
The court gave Sharon 21
days to explain why the
emergency regulations
should not be nullified.
Poraz claimed there was
no need for "undemocratic"
measures, such as emergen-
cy regulations, to alleviate
the crisis, which has forced
many young Israeli couples
out of their homes as rents
doubled and tripled to meet
the rising demand.
As a case in point, he noted
that in a quick legislative
maneuver last week, the
Knesset had passed a law
designed to expedite the con-
struction process.
The High Court in effect
ruled that the government
could not bypass existing
laws with emergency
regulations, saying existing
legislation could provide the
necessary answers to the
problems. "There is no doubt
that the absorption of aliyah
is an essential act that re-
quires unconventional
means," ruled Justice
Shlomo Levin.
But the court found that
the emergency powers were
too far- reaching and had the
potential of causing irrever-
sible damage in such areas
as laws on zoning and land
use.
"As a matter of principle,
the emergency regulations
should be used only when

one cannot wait for the
legislation process in the
Knesset," Levin ruled.
The first party to welcome
the court's ruling was
Interior Minister Arye Den
of the Shas party, who had
tried in vain to prevent the
enactment of the emergency
regulations. He expressed
hope that hereafter he could
work jointly with Sharon to
expedite the construction of
much-needed housing.
Den said the major prob-
lem now is not the red tape
but the absence of a master
plan and the slow pace of
building contracts. He com-
mitted himself to speed up
approval of any building
plans that are brought
before the authorities.
Tourism Minister Gideon
Patt of Likud also seemed
relieved. He had feared Sha-
ron's plan to house immi-
grants in hotels and youth
hostels would gravely im-
pact the tourism industry.

IDF Testing
Non-Fatal
Sand Bullet

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The
Israel Defense Force is now
completing its operational
testing of a new type of
bullet —made of sand — that
is meant to be fired from
very close range without
posing any danger.
The sand bullet is a small
round bag filled with sand.
Each shot contains three
such bags that are fired from
a special rifle.
The sand bullet can be
fired from distances of
around 130 feet or less. It
hits hard and painfully but
does not enter the body and
is not fatal.
The bullet's first tests,
conducted a few weeks ago,
were unsuccessful, Ma'ariv
reported Thursday. In the
second round of tests, the
bullets have reportedly been
improved.
The IDF has received se-
vere criticism over previous
bullets, particularly those
rubber and plastic bullets
used against Palestinian
demonstrators in the ter-
ritories. Bullets that had
been declared safe have
caused fatalities.
The sand bullet was de-
veloped after it became clear
that the IDF did not have
the means to strike at short
range, in clashes with rock-
throwers and rioters.

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