[News] Israeli Forces Demolish al-Araqib Village for 156th Time
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 29 15:19:44 EDT 2019
Israeli Forces Demolish al-Araqib Village for 156th Time
August 29, 2019
The Israeli authorities on Thursday demolished the village of al-Araqib,
an unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin village in the Negev, and threatened
its residents with displacement and evacuation, for the 156th time.
Eyewitnesses told reporters from the Wafa News Agency that the Israeli
police dismantled the tents of the people of al-Araqib, tore them apart
and dragged them from the village.
They then seized the residents’ belongings, including chairs, beds,
lamps, tables and other household goods.
The Israeli Forces then surrounded the village cemetery and took
measurements in preparation for demolition.
For many years, the residents of al-Araqib have stood steadfast and
refused the forced relocation by the Israeli government.
The Israeli authorities continue to punish Al-Araqib and demolish the
village repeatedly in an attempt to force the residents to emigrate.
In recent months the Israeli authorities have also escalated their
abductions of Palestinian Bedouins who have stood up against the
demolitions, most notably Sheikh Sayyah Al-Turi, who was deported from
the village after having served a term in Israeli prison.
In addition, an Israeli court imposed a fine of NIS 1,600,000 (around
$453,000 USD) a few days ago on the residents of the village for the
cost of demolishing and evacuating the village – a ridiculous sum given
the extreme poverty of the village residents.
The claim by the Israeli court is that the Bedouins are “trespassing on
state owned land” – another ridiculous claim, since the Bedouins have
lived on this land since before Israel was created in 1948.
Some 240,000 Palestinian Arabs live in the Negev desert, half of whom
live in villages and residential communities, some of which have been in
place for hundreds of years. Israel does not recognize their ownership
of the land and refuses to provide it with basic services such as water
Villagers said that they insist on remaining in their village, adding
that they will keep rebuilding their village.
The continuing demolitions of al-Araqib are carried out in the attempt
to force the Bedouin population to relocate, to government-zoned townships.
Like the 34 other Bedouin villages “unrecognized” by Israel, al-Araqib
does not receive any services from the Israeli government and is
constantly subjected to threats of expulsion and home demolition.
These “unrecognized” villages were established in the Negev soon after
the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, following the creation of the state of
Israel, when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled
from their homes and made refugees.
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.
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