Arab MKs voiced their ire during a Knesset Interior Committee discussion on Tuesday against state plans to destroy homes in the Israeli-Arab town of Kalansuwa.
United Arab List-Ta’al MK Ahmed Tibi had requested the session to protest the demolition orders, which he said would be “a real tragedy for the families.”
“If we do not succeed in preventing the destruction of the houses, we do not have a place in the Knesset,” he declared at the session, which Hatnua MK David Tsur was mediating.
Tibi went on to note that the demolition order had come because the area was designated as “a river and its surrounding environment,” even though there were houses closer to the stream in question that were deemed legal.
Attorney Kais Nasser, who represents the families, added, “We are trying all the time to have a dialogue and negotiations with state officials to create a humanitarian solution, but in vain.”
Balad MK Basel Ghattas declared that “the state should legalize houses in Kalansuwa instead of outposts in the West Bank.”
Asher Zlyger, the state prosecutor handling the case, argued that the buildings under discussion were large and that not only had the court ordered them demolished, it had “upheld the decision on appeal and ordered the families to pay significant expenses – something that is very unusual.”
However, UAL-Ta’al MK Masud Gnaim called the case “an example of the distress in Arab society” and said that “state authorities should be understanding and help citizens not to break the law.”