At a time when the people of the city of Tebah (around 48 Palestinians) prepared their homes and orchards to face the frost and the icy winds, a large force of Israeli police arrived and demolished two houses on the pretext they were built without a license, displacing inhabitants in the open.
The demolition sparked outrage among the Arab citizens of Israel. Ayman Odeh, the foremost leader of Israel’s Palestinian citizens held the Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for the crime and its consequences. Netanyahu threatened to demolish Arab houses that were built without licenses last week. Those close to him say that he did that in order to silence right-wing forces in his government that objected to his plan to allocate around $4 billion to Arab towns in order to bridge the discrimination that they suffer from.
However, political leaders of Arab citizens in Israel considered his threats as serious and dangerous. Odeh had presented him with a plan to resolve the problem as there are 50,000 Arab houses that were issued with demolition orders. He proposed a freeze on demolition orders throughout the year and in exchange, the Arab leadership promised not to support any Arab who builds a house without a license. Netanyahu promised to consider the proposal but he responded with the demolitions.
Yesterday morning, Salim Abu Hajjaj and Ibrahim Zubariqah received a telephone call from police officers informing them that the “District Committee for Planning and Building had sent them orders to demolish their houses”.