Arab municipalities protest against Israeli government discrimination

Palestinian Israeli's vote during parliamentary elections at a polling station in Haifa (Ahmad Gharabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  April 27, 2020

Arab [Palestinian] municipalities in Israel threatened on Sunday to go on strike from next week if the central government continues to discriminate against them, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported.

The Regional Committee of the Arab Municipalities said that this measure was agreed after it came to their knowledge that the Ministry of the Interior last week approved the transfer of NIS2.82bn ($800m) to local authorities and municipalities to compensate for losses arising from the coronavirus outbreak. The allocation for the Arab municipalities was just NIS47m, or 1.7 per cent of the total. Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens make up 20 per cent of the population.

The Committee’s statement made it clear that the strike would start if the government refuses to change the “unjust criteria” adopted for the distribution of the financial support, and compensate the Arab municipalities proportionately. The strike threat was also mentioned in a letter sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and related ministries and authorities.