I was homeless so I carved myself a CAVE house with incredible sea views – but officials are trying to kick me out | The Sun

A HERMIT who spent half a century carving a cave into an elaborate home is facing eviction.

Nissim Kahlon, 77, created a remarkable structure filled with tunnels, mosaics, and winding staircases out of beachside sandstone cliffs in Israel.

But the country's Environmental Protection Ministry said Mr Kahlon's structure is "illegal" – and is endangering the Herzliya beach coastline, to the north of Tel Aviv.

The former squatter, who claims he was living in a tent on the beach in 1973 when he began work on the cave dwelling, has said he would rather die than quit his unlikely home.

Mr Kahlon told AP News: "I am not leaving here. I am ready for them to bury me here.

"I have nowhere to go, I have no other home."

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Over a period of fifty years, Mr Kahlon created a complex, maze-like structure – which curious passers-by now make an effort to come see.

He claims the project began when he ran away to the beach to avoid an arranged marriage, and one day started scratching a hole into the coastal cliffs.

But the modest scratches became a distinguished home, with mosaic tiling for floors, bending staircases, plumbing, a phone line, and rigged electricity.

And a crafty Mr Kahlon even used a swathe of recycled materials to make the home – with the mosaic tiles filched from dumpsters in Tel Aviv, as well as reused wood, ceramic and stone.

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Mr Kahlon said: "There’s no waste here, only material, that’s the logic. Everything is useful, there’s no trash."

The remarkable cave is known locally as the "Hermit House", according to Atlas Obscura – and a disgusted Mr Kahlon believes it deserves more respect from the government.

Speaking to New Lines Magazine, the amateur architect said: "This house is a museum. They should give me a prize."

But Israeli officials have insisted he has to go – and accused the cave designer of "significant damage to the cliff", having "endangered the public" and reducing access to the beach "for public passage".

While close by to the cave is an abandoned facility, once home to an Israel Military Industries factory.

The facility used to produce explosives – but it was left derelict nearly 30 years ago after an explosion in 1992 killed two workers and rocked windows as far away as Tel Aviv. 

Last month, another blast blew a massive crater in the sandy soil not far from Mr Kahlon's cave – and now authorities hope to take a look at the polluted area.

They have offered Mr Kahlon alternative accommodation – but he has refused to go.

Mr Kahlon, who admits he never received a building permit, maintains he has the right to stay as local authorities connected him to the electricity grid years ago.

The looming eviction is now on hold until later this month to give him time to appeal.

If you'd like to visit another cave wonder a little closer to home, check out this UK grotto bedecked with more than 10,000 crystals.

While this other cave also caused a stir – but it's no beachside escape.

And this man built another unexpected shelter – an igloo in his garden.

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