Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that two Israeli Arab couples filed suit in Tel Aviv district court claiming that contractors in charge of a luxurious real estate project in Ramle, north of Israel, denied them the opportunity to purchase an apartment due to their ethnic background.The two couples, one from Ramle and the other from Lod, said that the project, which was specifically marketed towards discharged military personnel and their families, refused to sell them apartments as part of a discriminatory policy against Arab residents of Israel.
Once the construction of the residential apartments is completed, it will contain 1000 units built on agricultural lands that were used by the nearby settlement of Matzliach.
Haaretz added that the Arab couples argue that the marketing strategy of the project is targeting Israeli military officers and is deliberately intended to disqualify Arabs who have to argue with resident approval committees traditionally hesitant to sign off on their requests for acceptance into housing units because they are Arabs.
In 2004, Jewish residents in Ramle tried to block the opening of an Arab school in the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood, fearing “it will harm property values and increase crime”.
Rabbi of Ramle’s Bukharan community, Shalom Mordechai, one of the leaders of the campaign against opening the Arab school said that this school “could lower the standards of the Jewish neighborhood”.
The Jewish residents are mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union.