PALESTINIAN citizens of Israel launched a general strike yesterday after authorities bulldozed 11 homes in the city of Kalansua.
Tuesday’s demolition of the homes allegedly built without planning permission was ordered by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, it appears in retaliation for a High Court ruling ordering the demolition of homes in the illegal Israeli Amona settlement in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Wafa news agency said the strike was called by the Higher Arab Follow-up Committee, which co-ordinates Israeli-Arab organisations.
The Arab 48 website said the strike was solid across Palestinian communities in Israel, with schools, local councils and municipalities, shops and other workplaces shut down.
Joint List coalition MP Yousef Jabareen called the demolition “unprecedented” and vowed to fight further measures.
Israel regularly bulldozes Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, often claming they don’t have planning permission or as collective punishment of the families of slain or detained militants.
But the use of such measures against Israel’s 1.9 million Palestinian citizens is unheard of. He said the source of the problem were the longstanding barriers placed by the state that prevent Arabs from acquiring proper building permits.
Kalansua Mayor Abd alBasit Mansour and council members visited the area on Tuesday and he announced his resignation in protest.
“We have been waiting for approval of a master plan for 20 years, but our request fell on deaf ears,” he said. “As head of the Kalansua municipality, who doesn’t have the power to change anything, I decided to send my resignation to the Interior Ministry.”
One resident called the demolition part of Israel’s policy of “oppression, injustices and displacement.”