ISRAELI PLAN AIMS TO ACCELERATE DEMOLITION OF ARAB HOMES

demolition of a Palestinian house

Israeli soldiers stand guard during the demolition of a Palestinian home in Hebron, West Bank on 21 January 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the preparation of an amendment of an already existing law targeting the Arab existence in Israel in order to accelerate the demolition of their homes, an Israeli rights group revealed earlier this week.

The Mossawa Centre, an advocacy centre for Arab citizens in Israel, said in a statement that “the Kaminitz bill, which will increase home demolitions and further criminalise unauthorised housing and construction, is expected to pass its final reading in the Knesset before March 20, 2017.”

The advocacy centre said that this measure was ordered by Netanyahu’s office, noting that “the bill entered its second reading in the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee on 30 January and it is expected to pass on March 16.”

Read: Israel collects millions of dollars from Palestinians in Jerusalem annually

Explaining how the Israeli occupation authorities have restricted the expansion of the Arab communities in Israel, the Mossawa Centre said: “The State of Israel has allocated lands and provided planning services for over six hundred Jewish communities since its establishment in 1948, yet it has not created a single Arab locality, aside from the seven it established to concentrate the Bedouin community in the south. Meanwhile, the government refuses to recognise many of the pre-existing Arab villages.”

It also noted that Israel has shown a “deliberate unwillingness to approve master plans for Arab localities and distribute building permits [that] has given rise to a housing shortage in official Arab localities, as well, leaving many with no option other than to build and inhabit structures that are not officially recognised.”

The Mossawa Centre called on MKs “to focus their attention on the roots of unauthorised construction and, in turn, propose and support amendments to the Kaminitz bill that will provide a sustainable solution for those living in unrecognised settings.”

(Source / 12.03.2017)

Tags: ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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