Herzliya hermit at risk of eviction after 50 years from elaborate cliffside cave home

A man who has been living in a cliffside cave since the 70s is being threatened with eviction by Israeli authorities


A man who has been living in an elaborate cliffside cave for almost five decades is being threatened with eviction by Israeli authorities.

The BBC has reported that Nisim, a father of three who carved out the dwelling after deciding to abandon city life, could soon be turfed out of his beachside residence.

"They should give me an award for what I have done but instead they are taking me to court. I built here a museum,” he told the BBC. 

Israeli authorities complain that the Gaudiesque structure is dangerous and a hazard to the natural environment. 

“48 years and nothing falls on me, nothing broke. Everything, Baruch HaShem, strong”.

Nisim has admitted that his architectural prowess is entirely self-taught. 

“How does this balcony stay in the air, nothing holds it? You study engineering?” he said a visiting expert asked him.

“I teach myself. If I make a mistake, I fix it,” Nisim replied.

“I dig here from sand and I make concrete."

The interior of the cave is decorated with natural materials and recycled goods including ceramic tiles and shells from the neighbouring beach. 

“If you do it, do it good, the best way," he said.

Nisim argues that the construction of a marina near the beach has damaged the area and that his cave has not impacted the ecosystem negatively. 

“The sea has no smell. There used to be fish, now there are none. The beach used to be 50 metres wide, now it’s 3 metres.

Authorities also say the cliff itself is at risk of collapse due to the cave’s construction.

“If they would have told me 30 to 40 years ago I would have left but now I can barely walk. Where can I go?

Many of Nisim’s supporters suggest declaring his cliffside home a national heritage site, which would prevent the authorities from destroying it.

“I am only leaving here when I am dead,” he stressed.


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