A protester holds a placard as she stands next to Israeli soldiers during a protest against Israeli settlements in Beit Fajjar town south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Arab MKs are reacting angrily to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for heightened demolitions of homes built without permits in the Arab sector, with MK Aida Touma-Sliman rejecting any comparison between such building and the illegal construction at the West Bank outpost of Amona, which is due to be evacuated on December 25.
''The latest directives of the prime minister represent vengefulness on the part of the extremist right wing government in Israel. Arab citizens build their homes on private land handed down in their families for generations. It is the government policy [that] is opposed to the approval of master plans that caused them to be classified as illegal," said Touma-Sliman in reaction to reports that the prime minister had spoken to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan Saturday evening about plans to enforce laws against illegal building in the Arab sector.
In a video posted on Facebook Friday, Netanyahu referred to the Amona evacuation and said that there would have to be enforcement against illegal Arab building too. "I will fight for there to be one law for all, something that has not been the case until now for decades," he said.
Arab leaders held an emergency meeting in the northern town of Arara Saturday night to discuss Netanyahu's threat.
Touma-Sliman described the Amona construction and that at other outposts as being carried out by "gangs of settlers taking over private Palestinian property and building on it under the sponsorship of the government that takes care of subjugating the law and legislation in order to continue settlement."
"Not only is this comparison without foundation, it proves again that the government of Israel wants the Arab population to pay the existential, civic and political price for the occupation and settlement policy," she said.