Dan Izenberg
The Jerusalem Post
October 14, 2008 - 8:00pm

Acre Mayor Shimon Lancry and Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Boim are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the future of Arab families living in a housing project who were forced to flee their homes by Jewish marauders.

The two will decide whether to find permanent alternative housing for some of them or to allow them to return to the homes they were forced to abandon.

According to city officials and the Mossawa Center for Arab Human Rights, 14 Arab families, a total of 50 people, were left homeless after Jewish rioters forced them to flee.

Four of the families told Mossawa their homes had been set on fire, while others said rioters had broken into their homes, stolen their possessions and damaged their property.

Of the 14 families, seven own their homes while the other seven live in rented apartments provided by the Amidar housing company. Lancry and Boim will discuss whether to return the Amidar families to the so-called eastern neighborhoods, where there is a major public housing project, or to find them alternative housing elsewhere in the city.

Meanwhile, authorities will begin renovating the damaged apartments.

On Monday, the angry families gathered in front of City Hall while Lancry met with President Shimon Peres and the two chief rabbis, Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger to discuss how to calm the tensions in the city.

While the meeting took place in Lancry's first floor office, the families shouted "We want our homes back," and told reporters how they had been forced to leave the neighborhood.

Later in the day, the families met with city officials who told them the city would pay for their stay in local hotels until matters were resolved.

Most of the families fled without taking anything with them but the clothes they were wearing. When they tried to return on Monday to take fresh clothing, Jewish rioters threatened them and drove them away.


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