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Israeli forces demolish home of Palestinian citizen of Israel in Kafr Qasim

Feb. 26, 2017 10:02 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2017 10:25 A.M.)
KAFR QASIM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities demolished the house of a Palestinian citizen of Israel without prior notice in the central Israel town of Kafr Qasim on Sunday, the owner told Ma'an.

Ghazi Issa said that hundreds of "heavily armed" Israeli police officers escorted bulldozers which tore down the house.

Issa said that the demolition was under the pretext that the house lacked a building license issued by Israeli authorities, although he added that the case was currently still being discussed in court.

"I can't express my true feelings as I watched my home being demolished in front of my eyes, but I believe I am not in a better situation than that of the residents of Umm al-Hiran and Qalansawe, or others whose homes are facing demolition threats in the territories occupied in 1948," he said.

The issue of home demolitions in Israel has been in the limelight since the beginning of the year, notably due to the outrage caused by the demolitions in the town of Qalansawe and the deadly demolition raid in Umm al-Hiran in January.

The spike in home demolitions in these Palestinian and Bedouin areas in Israel came after Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.

"I urge the leaders of Palestinian communities to take action quickly to stop this sweeping flood" of demolitions, added Issa, who is a member of Kafr Qasim’s popular committee and the local director of the al-Aqsa Association.

Sheikh Safwat Freij, the deputy head of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel and the head of al-Aqsa Association, promised that the house would be rebuilt.

"We'll rebuild the house and they (Israel) will never break our will to live. We are the indigenous residents of this country and we won't stop defending it," Freij said.

“After (Israeli) crimes in Umm al-Hiran and Qalansawe, we thought they would stop the war they have been waging against the indigenous Arab community, but they are moved by their blind grudge against everything that is Arab."

Right groups have argued that the aim of home demolitions is to forcibly displace Palestinians from the region, regardless of their status as residents of the occupied West Bank or East Jerusalem, or as citizens of Israel -- despite the varying legal justifications used by Israel in each instance.
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