[News] Israel demolishes entire Bedouin village

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 27 12:42:59 EDT 2010

Israel demolishes Bedouin village

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Israeli authorities have demolished the homes of about 300 Bedouins 
in a village in the southern Negev desert.

The entire village of al-Arakib was bulldozed on Tuesday, with many 
of the former residents' cattle, trees and belongings lost.

Al-Arakib, which had about 40 homes, is one of 45 Bedouin villages 
not recognised by Israeli authorities.

Haia Noach, director of the Negev Co-existence Forum, was present at 
al-Arakib during the demolition and said that at least five Israeli 
bulldozers arrived around 5:30am (0230GMT).

"It took them about three or four hours to destroy all the houses," 
she said, describing the scene as "appalling."

Scuffles erupted as the villagers and around 150 rights activists 
tried to stop the police from carrying out the demolitions, with 
several people wounded and a handful arrested, activists said.

Speaking from a town near Beersheba, Noach said that many of the 
residents had moved to a nearby graveyard to find shade.

Evacuation notice

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed the early-morning 
operation, saying the homes had been "illegally built" and were 
destroyed in line with a court ruling issued 11 years ago which was 
never implemented.

"Around 30 shacks were removed and several hundred people were taken 
back to the Rahat area where they originally came from," he said, 
referring to a nearby Bedouin town in Israel's arid south.

He said three people had been detained for questioning but were later 
released without charge.

Noach said Israeli authorities had first given residents of al-Arakib 
a notice to evacaute on June 15, but that no action had followed, so 
the residents began to doubt that the demolition would occur.

But this morning, Israeli police arrived and forced residents to 
leave their homes within minutes, Noach said.

The demolition team destroyed water tanks and removed generators.

"It's like a declaration of war. They don't want you here," Noach 
said. "It's unthinkable."

The residents are now waiting for aid and will probably set up 
makeshift tents and facilities on the scene, Noach said.

According to the 
Co-existence Forum,around half of the 155,000 Bedouins in the Negev - 
all of whom are Israeli citizens - live in villages that are 
unrecognised by the government, without municipal services like water 
and electricity.

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