Netanyahu Pushes for Demolition of Israeli Arab Homes to Appease Rightists Over Amona

'There will be no double standards regarding construction,' prime minister tells officials, source says, ahead of expected evacuation of West Bank outpost. MK Odeh: No comparison between Israeli Arabs and settlers.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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A view from the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona.
A view from the illegal Israeli outpost of Amona.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

In an attempt to appease the right for the expected evacuation of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to push in the next few days for the demolition of homes belonging to Israeli Arabs that were built illegally, as well as the homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

A senior Israeli source said that during talks led by Netanyahu in the last two weeks with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, the prime minister instructed that demolition orders be enforced over the next few days in Arab towns in southern and northern Israel as well as East Jerusalem.

"There will be no double standards regarding construction," Netanyahu said in the talks, according to the source. "Israel will have equal enforcement of the law between Jews and Arabs."

Netanyahu's decision was made public a day after the settlers living in the illegal outpost of Amona decided to reject a government offer that would have seen the peaceful evacuation of the outpost.

MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, blasted Netanyahu for pushing to demolish Israeli Arabs' homes.

"All this prime minister knows is incitement and hate. How dare he say there won't be a double standard, and compare the Amona settlers, who robbed and stole land from people living with no civilian rights, to Israeli Arab citizens who build on their land, but are forced to do so without permits because Israel won't approve master plans," Odeh said.

He said that for months Netanyahu's government has been preoccupied with nothing but finding a way to "legalize" the status of 40 families in Amona, who stole private Palestinian lands, "but 40 unrecognized villages in the Negev, which have been there from before Israel was established, Netanyahu didn't even think of legalizing."

”We'll oppose any populist attempt to attack the Arab population like some kind of malicious rightist retribution for the evacuation of Amona," he said.

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