'We are tired of being fourth-class citizens'

Residents of Kfar Saba and Samaria protest expansion of PA city while virtually co construction has been approved in Jewish communities.

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Protest against expansion of Qalqiliya
Protest against expansion of Qalqiliya
Roi Hadai

Hundreds of residents from both sides of the so-called 'Green Line' demonstrated on Sunday night in front of Qalqiliya, protesting the plan to build 14,000 housing units in the Arab city while very little building is being carried out in Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria.

The construction plan was approved by the cabinet several months ago, and today the Prime Minister announced that he will bring the plan for a renewed discussion with the coalition ministers following the criticism it has received in recent days.

Among the demonstrators this evening were Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and his deputy Davidi Ben Zion, deputy mayor of Kfar Saba, Oren Cohen, Kochav Yair mayor Shimi Oliel, chairman of the Samaria settlers' committee Tzachi Dickstein and chairman of the settlement committee.

"We are here because we are citizens of this country, and we pay taxes and serve in the army," Dagan said," Dagan said. "We are tired of being fourth-class citizens in our country. We came here because we expect normalization, we expect free construction. [But] those who are receiving this normalization and free construction are enemies of the State [instead of its citizens], the terrorists from Qalqiliya and not the residents of Kochav Yair, Kfar Saba, and Samaria."

"We came here, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Defense Minister, and the rest of our Cabinet Ministers, because that line has been crossed here," Dagan added. "There was an attempt here which is still ongoing to seize land behind our backs - while the Samaria Regional Council received just 20 housing units after eight years of [a construction] freeze, we discovered that behind our backs Qalqiliya are receiving 14,000 housing units."

Dagan wondered why the Netanyahu government approved benefits for Qalqiliya, a city from which many terrorists who carried out terror attacks came from. Only a month ago they chose a new mayor from Hamas. Why do they deserve it? Why is Qalqiliya filled with smoke from the illegal burning of garbage and filling Tzofim and Kochav Yair and Kfar Saba with smoke? Why, Mr. Prime Minister?"

"Kfar Saba is only 2.5 kilometers from Qalqiliya and someone wants to enlarge it and bring it closer by another half kilometer, so the next tunnel will be easier and closer [to build], and that's what we will not agree to this," said Kfar Saba deputy mayor Oren Cohen.