[News] Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 105th time

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 2 11:57:12 EDT 2016

*Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 105th time*

Nov. 2, 2016 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773815

BEERSHEBA (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers raided and demolished the 
unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev 
desert for the 105th time on Wednesday morning.

Officers from Israeli police’s Yoav unit, the section created to 
implement demolitions of Bedouin homes in the Negev, were heavily 
deployed in the area.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to Ma’an that police 
forces were deployed in the area to carry out demolitions on a “number 
of buildings” in accordance with a court order.

Israeli forces confiscated possessions include vehicles belonging to 
residents of al-Araqib.

Israeli forces began targeting the village with demolitions in 2010, 
along with filing multiple lawsuits against the residents and imposing 
more than 2 million shekels ($527,920) worth of fines.

The first demolition of al-Araqib took place more than six years ago on 
June 27, 2010.

Al-Araqib is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the 
Israeli state. According to ACRI, more than half of the approximately 
160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.

While Bedouins of the Negev are Israeli citizens, the villages 
unrecognized by the government have faced relentless efforts by the 
Israeli authorities to expel them from their lands in order to make room 
for Jewish Israeli homes.

The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins 
from developing or expanding their communities, as their villages are 
considered illegal by Israeli authorities.

According to ACRI, entire Bedouin communities have been issued 
demolition orders in the past. As a result, most of al-Araqib’s 
residents have left over the years to neighboring towns.

Israeli authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin 
villages to the national water and electricity grids, while excluding 
the communities from access to health and educational services, and 
basic infrastructure.

Rights groups have claimed that the demolition of al-Araqib and other 
unrecognized Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at 
removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and 
transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the 
expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.

Indigenous rights groups have also pointed out that the transfer of the 
Bedouins into densely populated townships also removes them from their 
traditional semi-nomadic lifestyles which are dependent on access to a 
wide range of grazing land for their animals.

Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James 
Anaya released a report on the treatment of the Bedouin in the Negev 
back in 2011, shortly before the Israeli cabinet approved plans to 
relocate some 30,000 Bedouins from 13 unrecognized villages to 
government-approved townships, reporting that Bedouins in the permanent 
townships "rank on the bottom of all social and economic indicators and 
suffer from the highest unemployment rates and income levels in Israel."

The unrecognized Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon 
after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of 
Israel. Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village 
sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were 
governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel's 
military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 
in 1967.

Now more than 60 years later, the villages have yet to be recognized by 
Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.

Meanwhile, Israeli Jewish communities in the Negev continuously expand, 
with five new Jewish plans approved last year. According to an 
investigation undertaken by Israeli rights groups ACRI and Bimkom, two 
of the approved communities are located in areas where unrecognized 
Bedouin villages already exist.

The plan would see the displacement of at least 7,500 Bedouins from the 
unrecognized villages of Katamat and Bir Hadaj.

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