Tel Aviv’s only Arab city council member says he will withdraw from the city’s ruling coalition following a plan to demolish a Muslim cemetery and replace it with a homeless shelter.
Abed Gazaabou Shehadeh (Jaffa List) says that the city’s insensitivity to the feelings of Jaffa residents and disregard for the Islamic heritage of the site violate the coalition agreements which his party entered.
The site, known in Arabic as Maqbarat al-Is’aaf, is Tel Aviv’s only known Muslim graveyard.
Demonstrations against the planned demolition have taken place for three consecutive days in Jaffa, with some protesters clashing with police. Five have been arrested so far.
About 17,000 Arab Israelis live in Tel-Aviv Jaffa. They constitute around 4% of the city’s population.
— Aaron Boxerman