Although there was no urgent need to tear down the structures, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wishes to aggressively advance “enforcing building laws in the Arab communities.” He and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan know perfectly well that such acts won’t solve the problem, but only exacerbate it. There are more than 50,000 houses that were built without a permit in Arab and Druze communities in Israel. Applying the law “blindly” means erasing entire neighborhoods and leaving half a million people without a roof over their heads.
Netanyahu knows that every demolition increases the rising tension among the state’s Arab citizens and contributes to their loss of confidence in the state, and that this tension could spill over to violence and unnecessary clashes. He could also have anticipated that the massive demolitions in Kalansua would be seen as indeed they were seen: as an act intended to inflame emotions, sow frustration in the Arab population and curry favor with the rightist voters, who are still angry about the anticipated evacuation of the Amona settlement outpost. (Brutality in Kalansua, Haaretz, January 13, 2017.)