Middle East

Israeli Arabs urge general strike after house demolitions

File - In this Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 file photo, Jewish settlers cook food in a basketball field in Amona, an unauthorized Israeli outpost in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah. A group of Palestinian landowners is set to reclaim the property they watched stripped from them two decades ago, hoping to finally put to rest a bitter, years-long battle that thrust them into a protracted legal saga and a political crisis that threatened to tear apart Israel's governing coalition. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

File - In this Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 file photo, Jewish settlers cook food in a basketball field in Amona, an unauthorized Israeli outpost in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah. A group of Palestinian landowners is set to reclaim the property they watched stripped from them two decades ago, hoping to finally put to rest a bitter, years-long battle that thrust them into a protracted legal saga and a political crisis that threatened to tear apart Israel's governing coalition. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)  (The Associated Press)

Israeli Arab leaders have called for a general strike in all their towns and villages in response to the demolition of 11 homes without proper permits by Israeli authorities.

Lawmaker Yousef Jabareen on Wednesday called the demolition in the central city of Kalansua "unprecedented" and vowed to fight further measures. He said the source of the problem were longstanding barriers placed by the state that prevent Arabs from acquiring proper building permits.

Arabs make up some 20 percent of Israel's population and often complain about a second-class status.

The Israeli government has recently vowed to crack down harder on illegal Arab building. It comes after criticism from Jewish West Bank settlers who faced a court-ordered evacuation of an illegally built outpost and who demanded the law be enforced equally.