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Israeli man refuses to leave cliffside home of 50 years despite threats of eviction

An Israeli man who spent half a century carving his home in a cave on the Mediterranean coast is now facing eviction – and refuses to let go of his lifelong achievements.

“I really love the sea,” Naseem Kahlon told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “I don’t have money to buy a house.”

“I’m not leaving here. I’m ready for them to bury me here,” Kahlon added. “I have nowhere to go, I have no other home.”

Kahlon, 77, faces eviction because Israeli authorities, including the Israel Land Authority and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, have declared his home dangerous to the coastline and illegal for habitation. He told The Associated Press that the authorities were “defaming” him.

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In a statement to TPS, the Ministry of Environmental Protection called the house “a significant environmental, and security, risk, according to professional assessments by Herzliya Municipality, which is under the Ministry.”

Naseem Kahlon cleans some dishes in the kitchen he built in his cliff-side home. (Kobe Nathan/TPS)

“Assessments issued by Herzliya Municipality over the years seem to indicate that the building is dangerous, and that the rock is falling,” the statement added. “The municipality even informed the ministry that they have alternative housing solutions.”

Kahlon admits he received a demolition order in 1974, when he started building his house, but no one followed through, and he heard no further problems from officials until last year.

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Notice is on hold until he completes his appeal, which he has launched with the support of friends and family who have started crowdfunding to cover his legal costs.

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Naseem Kahlon’s house, built of sandstone cliffs, overlooks the Mediterranean Sea in Herzliya, Israel, on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Shalette)

Kahlon was living in a tent along the Herzliya beach in 1973 when he began digging into the sandstone cliffs and building a cave. He added to the simple cave over time, adding more rooms and filling it with material he collected from the beach and dumpsters around Tel Aviv.

Sandstone is the original beach home.

Naseem Kahlon, 77, started building his home in 1973 when he built a small cave in the sandstone. (Kobe Nathan/TPS)

There is no telephone or internet connection in the house, and people can only visit in person or contact a social worker who knows him.

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“From the stones that I mine, I make a cast and make a wall. There is no waste, only material, that’s the logic,” Kahlon explained. “Everything is useful, there is no trash.”

Kahlon admits he built the house without a permit, and opposition from city hall forced him to close a restaurant he tried to open, but he says officials approved his house when they connected it to the electric grid decades ago.

But EPM has raised concerns in light of explosions at an abandoned facility in the 1990s that damaged the integrity of the reefs, which have only continued to deteriorate in the intervening years. Another explosion last month further compounded the damage.

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The ministry also said that Kahlon had “caused significant damage to the reef, endangered the public and reduced the beach to public passage” over the past 50 years. He says the recent eruption only increases the mountain’s potential danger.

The Herzliya Municipality and the EPM continued to argue over who was responsible for dealing with the condition of the area, with the EPM ultimately taking charge of issuing the eviction notice, while the Herzliya Municipality reportedly found alternative housing for Kahlon, which he appeared unwilling to accept.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source by [Fox News]



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