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Israel demolishes two Palestinian houses in Lod

The demolished houses belong to Ashraf and Ayman Abu Kishk, two brothers who live in al-Mahatta neighbourhood in the mixed city of Lod
An Israeli bulldozer demolishes a tree in a Palestinian agricultural plot in area C, in the West Bank town of Hebron, 25 August 2021 (AFP/file photo)

Israeli authorities on Monday demolished two houses belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in Lod near Tel Aviv for building without permits.

Palestinians inside Israel, who make up 20 percent of the country's population, have long protested discriminatory laws, including the Kaminitz Law, which penalises the Palestinian community for building without permits with demolition and hefty fines.

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The demolished houses on Monday belonged to Ashraf and Ayman Abu Kishk, two brothers who live in al-Mahatta neighbourhood in Lod. According to Arab48 news website, the Abu Kishk family had been expecting the demolition of their homes for a year, following a notification by Israeli authorities.

Lod was one of the mixed Palestinian-Israeli cities which saw protests and clashes in May over the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and its plan to forcibly expel Palestinians from their houses in East Jerusalem. Some 29 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces or mobs.

During the unrest, a 32-year-old Palestinian, Moussa Hassouna, was killed by an Israeli mob near his home in Lod and several others were wounded. 

Yigal Yehoshua, a 56-years-old Jewish Israeli, also died after a brick struck his head during clashes in Lod, while he was driving home.

Although the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pledged to keep a two-year moratorium for the Kaminitz Law, also known as Amendment 116 in the Planning and Building Law of 1965, it excluded properties built by Palestinians from the freeze.

Hence, in recent months, Israeli authorities have razed a number of houses belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in towns and villages in the Negev, Ein Mahel, Jaffa, Shafa Amr, Kafr Qasem, Qalansuwa, Kafr Yasif, Arara, Umm al-Fahm and Sakhnin.

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