Arabs own only some 5% of Israel’s land; growing demand results in massive construction without permits.
The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, the main Israeli Arab leadership body, announced a general strike in the Arab sector on April 28 in protest against the demolition of Palestinian homes, which were built without proper permits, daily Haaretz reported on Thursday.
The committee also said it would help the homeless families rebuild their homes without any help from international organizations.
State authorities demolished an illegally built home in Kafr Kana Sunday night, marking the first time in years a demolition order in a Galilee Arab town has been carried out.
Similar demolitions were carried out in the Bedouin village Tel al-Meleh in the Negev. The homes were demolished due to unlicensed construction. Israeli police had also demolished a number of Palestinian houses in Um Batin village.
Many Israeli Arabs believe that the recent spate of demolitions signifies a change of policy in the wake of the recent Knesset election.
Haaretz recently reported that some 100,000 housing units would have to be built in Israeli Arab communities over the next decade to meet the growing demand. Arabs own only some 5 percent of Israel’s land, and freeing up state land for housing construction requires a bureaucratic process that can take up to a decade.
The result is massive construction without permits and thousands of demolition orders.