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Haaretz: Israel refuses to compensate Arab city for damage during 2021 riots

Israeli police patrol during an altercation between them and Palestinian protesters on Nablus Street in East Jerusalem on May 10, 2021 in Jerusalem, Israel. [Laurent Van Der Stockt/Getty Images]
Israeli police patrol during an altercation between them and Palestinian protesters on Nablus Street in East Jerusalem on May 10, 2021 in Jerusalem, Israel. [Laurent Van Der Stockt/Getty Images]

Israel is refusing to compensate the predominantly Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm over the damage sustained during last May's riots.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli authorities have claimed that the damage was not caused as a result of Jewish-Arab conflict, rather placing blame on the city's own residents.

The exclusive report also revealed that the state is refusing to disclose which local authorities have received such remuneration which, in accordance to Property Tax and Compensation Fund Law, the state is liable to compensate mixed Jewish-Arab cities affected by riots and ensuing vandalism.

"An examination of the evidence did not convince us that this was a result of violence associated with the conflict, since these were riots in which residents damaged the property of other city residents," wrote the Tax Authority to Umm Al-Fahm.

"Under these circumstances, the violence cannot be considered to be directed at someone for being Israeli."

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However, the city appealed the decision to a committee at the Tax Authority, requesting for information about payments made to other Arab local authorities and to mixed Jewish-Arab cities, which was denied by the authorities.

Last May, amid renewed Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip, nationwide ethnic riots erupted, with many Israeli Arabs taking to the streets following Palestinian resistance factions firing rockets in response to the Israeli military's repeated raids of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Riots broke out across several cities, including Acre, Jaffa, Haifa, Lod, and Ramla, in Arab population centres in the Galilee, the Triangle, the centre of the country and in the Negev. It was some of the worst ethnic clashes in years and the most widespread disturbances of this type since the founding Israel, which even caught Israeli authorities by surprise.

A year on, it was also reported by Haaretz that Arab Israelis made up 90 per cent of all those indicted over the riots.

"Of the 616 indictments issued, 545 were against Arabs accused of rioting, acts of terror and violence, while 71 were against Jews," the report noted.

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