Druze communities outraged by demolition orders: A "declaration of war"

In a first and unprecedented situation, Druze living in the village of Isfiya in northern Israel were given notices of demolition for several illegally built structures and homes. Druze community members are outraged: "It is unthinkable that while we are citizens throughout our military service, but after that, our homes are being demolished."
The demolition orders given in Isfiya Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

In an unprecedented situation, four demolition orders were issued for houses and structures built without a permit in the Druze village of Isfiya, located just south of Haifa. According to the orders, the houses will be demolished amid the stormy winds of a village in outrage who are calling this a “declaration of war."

"This is not the way to solve the problems," said council head Vagiah Kiyuf in a conversation with Channel 2 News Online. "Tomorrow the entire Druze leadership will meet to discuss this matter, which is very dangerous one. This is only the beginning since apparently more notices will be issued in other communities."

"All the houses scheduled for demolition are before the Kaminitz law [goes into effect]," Kiyuf said, referring to the new Kaminitz bill, according to which the penalties for building construction violations will be increased. "These orders are outrageous. It cannot be that those who prevent us from building our outlined plans are also those who execute demolition orders,” Kiyuf added, arguing that this was a conflict of interest.

Last Friday, young Druze blocked the entrance to Karmiel as a symbol of protest against the plans to demolish homes in Druze communities. One of the demonstrators said: "It is unthinkable that while we are citizens throughout our military service, but after that, our homes are being demolished." He also claimed that the reason they build without a permit is that their building plans are rejected and the villages are therefore unable to develop in such a way that allows its young residents to build within their villages.   



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