Middle East Monitor / February 14, 2023
Israeli occupation authorities demolished several Palestinian houses this morning in the city of Akka, a city that acquired large Israeli populations through the forced expulsion of its Palestinian population in 1948.
According to Arab48, the houses, which were built before the formation of the state of Israel, were home to 20 Palestinian residents, including the family of Nazmi Abu Eish, Nabil Abu Eish and Ahmed Abu Eish.
Israel claims the homes were built without planning permissions.
In recent years, the Israeli occupation has demolished hundreds of homes on the grounds that they lack Israeli construction and renovation permits, which are almost impossible to obtain for Palestinians.
Palestinians and human rights organizations say the policy is part of a larger Israeli strategy to gradually expel Palestinians from their historic homes.
The Israeli soldiers closed the northern entrance to the city of Akka after military bulldozers and machinery entered the area and prevented journalists from approaching and photographing the demolition site.
After the arrest of three family members, Noura Abu Eish said: “Police closed the city of Akka from all its entrances to demolish our homes as if we were criminals. The police do not fight drugs and crime, but rather raid our homes and prevent us from taking any items from our homes. But I will take a picture of my late father.”
“I will build a tent over the rubble of houses, and I will not leave my land, and I call on the people of Akka to unite,” she added. “Today, the police demolished Abu Ayish’s homes, and tomorrow they will go to Barbour neighbourhood and the rest of the Arab neighbourhoods.”
The head of the Akka district, Hani Asadi, accused the Israeli police of committing crimes after demolishing the four houses. He told Arab48: “What happened here is a unilateral decision by the police. It takes a period of 45 days to take the necessary measures and secure alternative housing during this period, but the police disregarded the court’s decisions and brought in the bulldozers that they wanted to demolish the homes with under the pretext that they had demolition orders.”
The lawyer assigned to defend the family said despite the technical error by the Israeli court, the court still allowed the demolition to continue.