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Israeli town halts new home sales to prevent Palestinian citizens moving in

Israeli occupation forces aim at Palestinian protesters in Hizma, West Bank [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

An Israeli town has halted the sale of new home plots, to prevent Palestinian citizens of Israel from moving into the community.

As reported by Haaretz, the mayor of Kfar Vradim announced in a message to residents on Friday that “he was suspending future sales of building lots in the community”, after around half of the winning bids in the most recent phrase were by Palestinian citizens.

Sivan Yechieli said he is “responsible for preserving the secular-Jewish-Zionist nature of Kfar Vradim”, and added that he planned to “ask the relevant government bodies to create solutions allowing for the maintenance of demographic balances”.

Responding to the news Sunday, legal rights centre Adalah slammed the mayor’s actions as “motivated by racism”.

Adalah also claimed that in “a climate in which the Israeli Knesset continues to promote racist legislation targeting Arab citizens”, the Kfar Vradim mayor “feels emboldened to promote racist policies and to trample the most basic of democratic principles”.

Read: Knesset committee advances final version of Israel’s ‘Jewish nation-state’ bill

According to Haaretz, the “controversy erupted” when a real estate broker and resident, Nati Sheinfeld, reported the results of the sake on Facebook, urging the town to “wake up”, and asking: “Are we growing an Arab village inside Kfar Vradim?”

“Kfar Vradim is an example of what will happen to the Galilee in the future and in Israel as a whole”, he told Haaretz, while insisting he was not a racist for wanting to preserve “communities with a certain character”.

Adalah noted in its statement Sunday that “successive Israeli governments have confiscated lands from Arab citizens and intentionally prevented the development of Arab communities. This racism continues today via resident selection practices and the exclusion of Arab citizens of Israel”.

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