Israeli Arab Sector to Gather at Rabin Square to Protest


06Israel’s Arab community on Tuesday, 9 Iyar declared a general strike and a day of protest. The leaders of the community decided on the move in response to government action against illegal Arab sector construction in the Galil and Negev. For a first time, the Israeli Arab community has decided to protest at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Schools and businesses are closed to permit the community to take part in the day of protest.

While the Israeli Arab community has protested in the past against the demolition of illegal buildings, those protests were held in their respective communities but this time they are moving to Tel Aviv in the hope of increasing awareness to the situation.

The Arab Monitoring Committee calls on the government to retroactively give housing permits, explaining every citizen is entitled to have a roof over his head, calling this an “elementary right”.

The Rabin Square protest is going to be attended by Israeli and Arab MKs, community notables and leaders.

The head of the Joint Arab List, MK Ayman Udeh points out 40 communities in the Negev are “unrecognized”. He adds there are about 1,000 Jewish communities from the Galil to the Triangle (Nachal I’ron/Wadi Ara area) but not a single Arab community. He explains that this does not take the destruction of 450 Arab communities in 1948 into consideration. Since then he explains, the Arabs have been compelled to move to nearby communities and live in overcrowding and unacceptable conditions. Udeh adds that while there are some plans in place, there is an immediate need for a solution while the government plans address the distant future.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)