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Israeli Authorities Demolish 47 Homes in the Negev Desert

06:00 May 8 2024 Wadi Khalil and Umm Batin (אום בטין‎ أم بطين), Negev

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Photos: Published by Haaretz
Wadi Khalil village getting demolished by Israeli authorities, Wednesday. Credit: Eliyahu Herschkovitz

Police in Wadi Khalil, Wednesday.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
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by IMEMC News
May

On Wednesday morning, Israeli occupation authorities, under heavy police protection, demolished 47 houses belonging to the Abu Asa family, near the village of Umm Butin in the Negev region in southern Israel.

During the large-scale operation, Israeli police abducted the young man, Ahmed Abu Asa, when he made an attempt to prevent the bulldozers from carrying out the demolition.

Head of the ‘Supreme Guidance Committee for the Arabs of the Negev’, Jumaa Al-Zabarqa, told Arab 48 that, “what happened this morning is an organized criminal operation, as it demolished 47 homes housing hundreds of Arab citizens, and this is a dangerous indicator of hostile practices towards Arab citizens in general.”

Al-Zabarqa continued, “the demolition and destruction forces, reinforced by large forces of police and border guards, are demolishing 47 homes for the Abu Asa family in the Hebron Valley area, leaving children, women, and the elderly without shelter and under the dome of the sky in the intense heat.”

Media sources said that the 47 homes were demolished by Israeli authorities under the pretext that the homes of the Abu Asa family were built without a permit.

In further comments, Al-Zabarqa called the operation “criminal and unprecedented since the Nakba,” adding that “What is happening now to the Abu Asa family is a real catastrophe, state terrorism, and a crime of ethnic cleansing.”

Author and expert in Israeli affairs, Amir Makhoul, stated that the targeting of the Negev region in the southern triangle of Israel, is aimed at the entire Palestinian Arab presence in the Negev.

Makhoul added that using the pretext of alleged “development”, including the extension of ‘Route 6’ has long been a strategic plan to sever any communication between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
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Israel Starts Demolishing 47 Bedouin Homes Without Offering Promised Alternative Housing

The Israeli government intends to build a highway at the location of the village, ordering hundreds residents to relocate to a nearby town. The displaced Bedouins say that they will have to sleep in tents, as far-right minister Ben-Gvir hailed the demolitions as 'an important move of sovereignty'

by Eden Solomon for Haaretz
May 8, 2024

Israel started on Wednesday to tear down houses in the Bedouin village of Wadi Khalil in the Negev in order to build a section of Highway 6 on it, without providing alternative housing for the residents.

Large police forces accompanied the work teams that tore down houses in the unrecognized village, as residents protested against the forced evacuation. The authorities have issued 47 demolition orders on village houses, in a bid to compel some 320 residents to move to a neighborhood in the Umm Batin community, but so far no houses have been built there for the evacuees.

Some of the protesters set their houses on fire. "I'd rather the house burns down," said Ali Abu Isa, 30. "Better than see a tractor destroying it."

The road isn't expected to be built soon, and the state has not budgeted the project. As part of the legal battle for their homes, the villagers agreed to move to Mitla, a neighborhood near Tel Sheva, but it hasn't been build yet either.

The neighborhood's construction requires the interior minister's approval, but this approval has not been granted for the last two years.

The authorities tried to force the residents to move to Umm Batin, but residents say that a family who claims ownership on the land allocated for them is threatening the lives of families that are supposed to move to the new neighborhood, and refuse to move there.

The residents said they would have to spend Wednesday night in tents. Despite this, the Israel Land Authority said "the residents have a legal, available solution."

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said on Wednesday morning the demolitions were "an important move of sovereignty and governance."

His office said, "as the minister promised, there's a considerable increase in demolitions of illegal houses in the Negev and the minister is proud to lead this policy and is doing it every week. Every outlaw must know the Negev's lands are not no man's land, and Israel will fight all out against those who take over lands and try to set reality on the ground."

"An event of this magnitude hasn't occurred before in the Negev," said the chairman of The Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages of Negev, Atiya Alasam. "Not regarding the amount of forces, the scope of the destruction and the hatred."

The council said: "As of tomorrow night, hundreds of residents will not have a roof to sleep under. A proper democracy cannot do this to its citizens, and Israel wouldn't think of doing it to its Jewish citizens."

MK Walid Alhushala (Ra'am) said the houses' demolition is "a dangerous move carried out by those who wish to destroy, not only the neighborhood but the entire fabric of shared life in the Negev."

The Israel Land Authority said: "The authority is acting to return the land to the public and to protect the national infrastructure, according to the planning. The said structures were built without a permit and contrary to the plan on state land intended for national infrastructure. There is no possibility of legitimizing the illegal construction on the site."
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Video via Twitter

B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم
@btselem
As described in B'Tselem's 2021 position paper, the Israeli apartheid regime implements policies to promote the principle of Jewish supremacy on both sides of the Green Line, in the occupied West Bank, and inside Israel's sovereign territory. Link & more video below.
@rcuvnegev


Oren Ziv
@OrenZiv_
Now: Israeli forces demolish the entire Bedouin village of Wadi Khalil in the Negev/ Naqab leaving over 300 residents without any housing solution


Features
47 homes demolished, hmed Abu Asa detained by Israeli forces 5/8/2024
Israeli forces demolished 47 homes in Wai Khalil, ordering relocation to Umm Batin 5/8/2024
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