Arab community plan discriminates against mixed cities – Lod mayor

Lod Mayor Yair Revivo filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on Thursday demanding that the government’s five-year plan for the Arab sector apply to Arabs in mixed cities, and not just in solely Arab cities.

The exclusion of Arabs who live in mixed cities like Lod, Ramle, Acre and Haifa, and comprise about 20% of Israel’s Arab population, amounts to discrimination, Revivo argued.

“The Israeli government decided to discriminate against the Arab population in the mixed cities of Israel and deny them the right to improve their economic and social situation,” Revivo told Maariv.

“Despite requests and requests from different government agencies and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the decision not to include Lod and the other mixed cities like Acre and Ramle in the plan constitutes a continuation of the current situation, harming these citizens and a disaster both for him [mixed] cities themselves and [its Arab] residents. I call on the Superior Court to intervene and initiate an immediate discussion, “he said.

Revivo’s petition called for the High Court to hold an immediate hearing on the issue and order the government to halt the allocation of funds to Arab regional councils and municipalities, which is supposed to be completed 60 days after the law takes effect. .

JEWS AND ARABICS protest together in Lod with signs reading “Together against violence” and “Refuse to be enemies”, following a night of riots perpetrated by Arab residents in the city in May. (credit: YOSSI ALONI / FLASH90)

The plan was approved by the cabinet on October 24. It allocates approximately NIS 30 billion between 2022 and 2026 to drive a series of actions to reduce the gaps in Arab society.

These include about NIS 9.4 billion for educational programs; about NIS 2.8 billion for housing; NIS 3 million for transportation; more than NIS 1.4 billion for the development of employment opportunities by increasing the number of courses for high demand professions, with an emphasis on acquiring proficiency in Hebrew; some 615 million shekels in welfare programs; about 600 million NIS in high technology and more.

Lod and Revivo were consistently in the headlines during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May, as the city witnessed the most intense violence and unrest by its Arab population and far-right Jewish organizations.

The four days of rioting left an Arab and a Jew dead, several people wounded by gunshots and stabbings, four synagogues burned, several apartments burned and destroyed, dozens of cars burned and numerous broken windows in cars, synagogues, mosques and shops. .

Revivo was accused by some of the 28,000 Arab inhabitants of implementing unequal policies, segregating the two communities and inciting against the Arab population.

However, Revivo received Ra’am’s chief Mansour Abbas at Lod city hall after the latter’s visit to one of the burned synagogues, where the two spoke about the situation in Lod and inter-community relations between residents. Arabs and Jews. Revivo thanked Abbas for the visit and called on the Jews and Arabs of his city to reestablish their coexistence and cooperation.

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