After the Knesset gave preliminary approval to a bill to connect thousands of illegally built homes in Arab Israeli communities to the power grid, Likud says Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have made “another gesture to the Islamic Movement, a step that will legitimize widespread illegal construction by Arabs in our country and allow Bedouins to take over more parts of the Negev.”
The party calls the move “a surrender.”
The bill will now go to the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee. The panel needs to okay the measure before it can come up for the second and third plenum readings it must pass to become law.
Around 130,000 Arab Israelis live in illegally built homes in cities across the country that cannot be connected to the national grid, under existing legislation. Arab Israelis blame outdated urban plans that classify open land as “agricultural” rather than residential, while the Israeli right criticize what they call lawlessness in Arab communities.