Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements
100-year-old Bedouin woman left homeless as Israel continues Negev demolitions
NEGEV (Ma‘an) 8 Feb — In the latest instance of Israel’s demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Israel, homes were demolished in two unrecognized Bedouin villages on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran. Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police, demolished a house in the village of Wadi al-Na‘am in the western part of the Negev in southern Israel. Locals told Ma‘an that the demolished house was owned by an elderly woman and her daughter. A member of the local committee, Yousif Ziyadin, said that an emergency session would be held to discuss the Israeli demolition. A relative of the elderly homeowner, Ahmad Zanoun, told Ma‘an that 100-year-old Ghaytha Zanoun and her 60-year-old daughter Hilala were living in the house, both of whom suffer from various health issues. Zanoun said that both Ghaytha and Hilala were unable to walk, and noted that the family had renovated the home in accordance with their doctor’s suggestions due to their health conditions. He added that Ghaytha and her daughter now were homeless following the demolition….
Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 109th time
NEGEV (Ma‘an) 8 Feb — Israeli bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel on Wednesday for the 109th time. Israeli forces raided the village early Wednesday, surrounding the residents’ makeshift tents, and proceeded to raze them to the ground. Israeli forces also demanded that the residents pay 2 million shekels (approximately $532,750) for the cumulative cost of Israeli-enforced demolitions carried out against the village since the first time it was destroyed in 2010 … Local committee member Aziz Sayyah told Ma‘an that they “demolished the village without considering the weather and the impact this will have on residents now made homeless.” The weather in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory remains cold, particularly during night hours. “No matter how many times they demolish and destroy our village, they will not break our spirits,” Sayyah added. “Al-Araqib is ours and we are here to stay.” Demolitions targeting Palestinians with full Israeli citizenship have been the target of widespread protests in recent weeks, after an Israeli police raid to evacuate the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran left two people killed. While Bedouins of the Negev are Israeli citizens, the villages unrecognized by the government have faced relentless efforts by Israeli authorities to expel them from their lands in order to make room for Jewish Israeli homes….
Analysis: The real housing crisis in Israeli is in its Arab towns
Haaretz 10 Feb by Hagai Amit — Little available land, not enough builders, a low-rise housing culture and red tape are among the culprits — We’re riding in the car of Imran Kanana, the mayor of Yafi‘a, trying to reach the highest point in this town of 20,000 to see the view. It’s not easy. The streets of this community near Nazareth, whose official name is Yafa an-Nasseriyeh, are barely wide enough for a single vehicle. Yet all the streets are two-way and also used for parking and by pedestrians, as there are no sidewalks. So over and over again, Kanana has to stop, often to back up and maneuver in order to facing traffic. In addition, children in their uniforms are pouring into the streets at the end of the school day. Kanana doesn’t get aggravated. He’s used to it. The traffic situation in Yafi‘a is typical of Arab towns in Israel, and of villages throughout the world that were laid out when all transportation was two- or four-legged. But the crowding here is much worse than in a typical Greek or Italian village, say. The main cause is the housing shortage in Israel’s Arab communities. That shortage was also the underlying cause of the uproar that followed the demolitions in January of 11 unauthorized buildings in Kalansua [Qalansuwa], and the tragedy a week later in Umm al-Hiran, in the Negev, where the demolition of illegally built homes sparked riots and ended in the deaths of an Israeli police officer and a Bedouin resident … Kanana believes the housing crisis is the main reason for the economic gap between Israeli Arab society and the majority Jewish community: The lack of available land makes it harder to establish industrial zones and sometimes limits the construction of new schools. “Why don’t they see that investing in housing and education in the Arab sector should be a top Israeli priority? If you invest in these things, people won’t turn to extremism, and their participation in the economy will grow,” says Kanana….
Army demolishes an under-construction building in Jerusalem
IMEMC 7 Feb — On Tuesday, several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers invaded Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and demolished an under-construction building. Media sources in Jerusalem said dozens of soldiers surrounded and invaded the area, after declaring it a “closed military zone.” The soldiers then proceeded to demolish the building, in addition to detaining and interrogating several Palestinians. In related news, the army invaded Kardala village, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains, and demolished several barns owned by a few shepherds.
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