Israeli authorities demolished 10 homes belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the city of Qalansawe in central Israel on Tuesday morning, prompting a defeated mayor to resign after Israeli authorities refused for decades to approve the city’s master plan. Local sources told Ma’an the devastating demolition campaign sparked clashes between Israeli police and residents.
Mayor Abd al-Basit Mansour visited the area along with members of the municipal council and announced he would resign from his post, as Israeli bulldozers razed the homes to ground.
Mansour told reporters that, “We have been waiting for approval of a master plan for twenty years, but our request fell on deaf ears .. As head of Qalansawe municipality, who doesn’t have the power to change anything, I decided to send my resignation to the ministry of interior.”
— Ben White (@benabyad) January 10, 2017
Dozens of locals crowded in the area in an attempt to prevent bulldozers from demolishing the structures, but Israeli police officers dispersed them.
One homeowner described the demolition as part of Israel’s policy of “oppression, injustices, and displacement.”
Qalansawe resident Ashraf Abu Ali criticized leaders of Palestinian communities in Israel. “What have they done to prevent demolitions in the Arab communities?” he asked, asserting that Palestinian citizens of Israel will “remain under threat as long as master plans and allocating land for construction are dealt with so recklessly.”
Another owner of one of the demolished houses Hassuna Makhlouf said he held Qalansawe’s mayor responsible, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
— Thomas van Linge (@arabthomness) January 10, 2017
Resident of the town Abd al-Rahim Udah said large numbers of Israeli police officers and more than 20 bulldozers stormed Qalansawe “in an unprecedented act of barbarism.”
Commenting on the demolitions, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said that the “The complex campaign reflects equal law enforcement in Israel as it should be,” according to Hebrew-language media reports.
Last month, Netanyahu reportedly held meetings, attended by Erdan, when Netanyahu instructed officials to “work to issue demolition orders for the illegal structures, located in Arab town in northern and southern Israel, as well as in eastern Jerusalem.”
— Palestine Video (@PalestineVideo) January 10, 2017
Earlier in December, Netanyahu commented on the Supreme Court-ordered demolition of the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona in the occupied West Bank by assuring the soon-to-be displaced settlers that he would commit to “enforcing laws” on “illegal construction” in Israel, referring primarily to Palestinian communities that are often forced to build without Israeli-issued building permits.
The Jerusalem municipality also vowed to demolish scores of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem as a result of the ruling to dismantle Amona.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)