[News] Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 113th time

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 17 11:29:12 EDT 2017

  Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 113th time

May 17, 2017 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=777112
NEGEV (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of 
al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 113th time 
since 2010 on Wednesday morning, and for the fifth time this year.

The head of the local council, Aziz al-Turi, told Ma’an that Israeli 
bulldozers accompanied by police forces raided the village and 
demolished the steel-structure makeshift homes "without any 
consideration for their residents."

“All demolition crimes will not scare us or stop us from rebuilding our 
homes and holding on to our lands,” al-Araqib resident Sayyah al-Turi 
told Ma'an. “We will stay here despite the injustice and criminal 
demolitions, we will not submit to their plans of uprooting and 
displacing us.”

The last time Israeli forces razed homes in al-Araqib was only weeks 
ago, on April 25 <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776644>.

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

Demolitions targeting Palestinians with Israeli citizenship sharply 
increased in 2017. An Israeli police raid to evacuate the unrecognized 
Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran turned deadly in January 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774987>, and sparked widespread 
protests of the treatment of Palestinian citizens in Israel.

Right groups say that the demolition of unrecognized Bedouin villages is 
a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian 
population <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775038> from the 
Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room 
for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.

The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins 
from developing or expanding their communities, while Israeli 
authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages 
to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the 
communities from access to health and educational services.

Moreover, al-Araqib residents have been ordered to pay more than two 
million shekels (approximately $541,000) for the cumulative cost of 
Israeli-enforced demolitions carried out against the village since 2010.

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 housing 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.
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