One-day strike hits Arab areas in Israel

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Schools, municipalities and many businesses remained closed today, January 11, in Israel’s Arab areas in protest at Tuesday’s demolition of 11 homes in Qalansuwa, an Arab city in the Triangle region of central Israel.

The strike hit all sectors of public life in Arab towns and cities in response to a call from Arab leaders and the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel.

The strike will be followed by other protest steps, including massive demonstrations in Arab towns and cities and a popular rally in Qalansuwa city.

The homes were demolished on Tuesday at the pretext of unlicensed construction, but Palestinian homeowners say their attempts to get construction permits have always been rejected by the Israeli authorities.

In this regard, activist and professor of architecture Yosef Jabareen told al-Jazeera website that half a million Palestinians face displacement in Israel and east Jerusalem.

During the past two decades approximately 5,000 Palestinian homes in Israel have been demolished, Jabareen estimates.

Palestinian activists believe the reason Israel is now taking action against homes built without permits is to retaliate to the recent evacuation of Jewish settlers from the illegal Amona outpost” in the West Bank.

Last December, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu threatened he would push for demolition of Arab homes to appease Israelis after an Israeli court refused his government’s request to delay the evacuation of Amona.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

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