Negev Palestinians Resist As Israelis Demolish Their Homes

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“It’s a plan to destroy the houses of the Palestinian citizens here in Negev and to rebuild it for the Jewish. It’s an act of aggression,” said a Palestinian activist.

Palestinian residents across Israel went on a strike after a protest to stop the Israeli state from demolishing their homes resulted in death.

On Wednesday, 47-year-old teacher Yacoub Moussa Abu al-Qiyan of Umm al-Hiran village was shot dead by the police after authorities claimed he attacked them in a vehicle. The incident also resulted in the death of one police officer, Erez Levi, who was rammed by Qiyan’s car.

The police claimed al-Qiyan was a member of ISIS and the car-ramming incident was a terrorist attack. However,  village residents, activists and Palestinian politicians in Israel strongly reject this notion and claim al-Qiyan lost control of the vehicle when the police attacked his car with gun fire. In fact, he was already dead when his car hit the other vehicle.

Meanwhile, other locals confronted riot police as they attempted to carry out the Bedouin’s home demolitions in the village.

The government doesn’t “recognize” the Palestinian villages of Negev desert even though they have existed before Israel was created in 1948. Placing two bricks together, let alone building a house, is deemed illegal by Israel and building permits are almost impossible to obtain.

Because of their illegal status, the residents are denied access to electricity, water, infrastructure, sewage system, parks and other municipalities.

Previously Israel has stated that developing the Negev villages is one of its top priorities, however not a single village has been created. In fact, the state has demolished numerous villages to create residences for Israelisand over 600 Jewish communities have been built since 1948.

Palestinians comprise of over 20 percent of Israel’s population, yet discriminatory laws have made their lives a living hell in Israel.

Read More: Home Demolitions Are Rapidly Erasing Palestinian Livelihoods

Banner / Thumbnail Credit : Reuters

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