In Qalansuwa, a Gelilee village occupied by Israel since 1948, Israeli government forces demolished the homes of 11 Palestinian Arab families in one day. The pace of home demolitions accelerated recently, and is expected to increase despite the consequent gross violation of human rights and other international law norms with impunity. Two articles here report the events and the swelling protest.
Israel/Palestine: Gov’t. Razes 11 Qalansuwa Homes
10 January 2017
QALANSUWA, Israel—Escorted by a large force of Israeli police, the Israeli authorities` bulldozers and vehicles raided Qalansuwa city in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories on Tuesday and demolished 9 houses under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
A large group of Palestinian citizens crowded in an attempt to stop the demolition, yet the Israeli police prevented them from approaching the area.
They called on the Arab MPs and all political forces to stand by the owners of the demolished houses, adding that the situation is intolerable and may lead to dire consequences.
The Israeli police arrested a young man from Qalansuwa following the outbreak of confrontations between the police and the Palestinian citizens.
Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Minister of Public Security, praised the Israeli police forces for protecting the bulldozers and demolition vehicles in Qalansuwa.
Abdelbasset Salama, mayor of Qalansuwa, has declared that he will immediately submit his resignation following implementation of the demolition orders.
Hassouna Makhlouf, owner of one of the demolished houses, said that the Israeli police forcibly evicted them from their houses before they were razed to the ground.
Makhlouf added, We appealed to the courts to prevent the demolition. We hold the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for this and call on the Qalansuwa mayor to submit his resignation after our houses were demolished, he continued.
Abdulraheem Ouda, a resident of Qalansuwa, said that a large force of the Israeli police and special forces (Alesam) and more than 20 bulldozers raided the city in an unprecedented brutality while the citizens were in their works.
Ouda added, Netanyahu wants to take revenge on us because of Amona settlement issue, and we tell him that we will rebuild our houses and stay here.
Yaser Makhlouf, whose house was demolished along with other 4 houses owned by the same family, said, My son was about to get married in this house. It costed him a lot of money.
He pointed out that these retaliatory orders from the Israeli government incite violence and declare war against the Arab community.
Netanyahu had issued orders few weeks ago to escalate the demolitions in occupied Jerusalem and the 1948 Palestinian territories.
Israel’s Arabs Stage General Strike after Qalansuwa Home Demolitions
13 January 2017
Thousands of Palestinians including MKs and representatives of Palestinian factions in Qalansuwa town in 1948 Occupied Palestine participated in a massive march in protest at the Israeli policy of home demolition which has been lately practiced by Israeli authorities against Palestinians in the town.
The march kicked off after Friday prayer and roamed several streets in the town. Meanwhile, the participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted national slogans, according to Quds Press.
Cities and towns in the 1948 Occupied Palestine witnessed last Wednesday a general strike that included closure of commercial shops, schools, and municipalities, for the same reason.
The protest moves were pursued after Israeli bulldozers had razed eleven of Palestinians’ homes in the town
See Al Jazeera video report
Photo on front page: House demolitions underway in Qalasuwa, 10 January 2017. Photo on this page: Public demonstration during general strike in protest to Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian Arab citizens’ homes. Source: Palestinian Information Center (PIC).