The High Follow-Up Committee for Arabs in Israel has called on Palestinian citizens to take part in a “comprehensive” countrywide strike in protest against the demolition of 11 homes in Qalansuwa, Safa news agency reported on Tuesday.
In a statement, the committee reiterated the importance of Wednesday’s strike. It stressed that the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel — who make up one-fifth of the population — should stand together in the face of the right-wing government’s violations of their rights.
“We blame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally for these crimes,” explained committee Chairman Mohamed Baraka. “They reflect his racist mentality in order to distract attention from his own scandals.”
The Follow-up Committee held an emergency meeting with Qalansuwa’s mayor, Abdel Basit Salama, along with a number of members of the Joint Arab List in the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) and representatives of all Palestinian Arab institutions in Israel. Although Salama has tendered his resignation, the committee asked him to withdraw it pending a solution to the problem of the home demolitions.
Further action is planned by the committee, including meetings and an awareness-raising event in the small city.