Israel orders immediate demolition orders for seven Palestinian homes
A Palestinian Bedouin woman stands next to her destroyed tent in the Jordan Valley. (AFP/File)
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Israeli authorities on Monday delivered home demolition orders to seven families in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Dahmash between the cities of Lod and Ramle in central Israel, locals told Ma'an.
Arafat Ismail, the head of the village's popular committee, said the demolition orders were delivered by officials from the Emek Lod regional council's zoning and planning department, who arrived under Israeli police escort.
The planning officials told the Bedouin families that the demolition orders had been issued decades ago, but were now to go into "immediate" effect.
The demolition orders were briefly postponed earlier this month, on Dec. 1.
Ismail said the families had unsuccessfully appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court against the orders, pointing out that the Israeli state should have recognized the village following the recommendation of an Israeli border committee.
The orders were issued just hours after Zuheir Bahlul, a Palestinian member of Israeli's parliament, the Knesset, visited the village with the aim of forming an action plan to solve its "humanitarian case."
Ramle's Palestinian community has come under significant threat from the Israeli state, which refuses to recognize a number of Palestinian villages in the area.
Former Palestinian Knesset member Hana Sweid has said that the threat of home demolitions for Palestinians in Israel is huge. "About 25,000 Arab homes fall under the scope of demolition orders," he said earlier this year.
While Israeli law guarantees Palestinian citizens of Israel the same equality as Jewish Israelis, in practice there are claims of discrimination in government funding and a raft of other issues.
Israeli rights group Adalah says only 4.6 percent of new homes built in Israel are in Palestinian towns and villages, despite the fact that Palestinians make up over 20 percent of the population.
Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, who number around 580,000, receive four times as many housing units as Palestinian citizens Israel, the group says.
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