State sues Bedouins of Al-Araqeeb for NIS 1.8M

12:00 Jul 26 2011 Al-Araqeeb (Araqib, Arakib), 8 km north of Beer Sheba

lana Curiel
Published: 07.26.11, 15:27 / Israel News

The state filed a law suit on Tuesday against the residents of the Bedouin village Al-Arakib, claiming that razing the illegal outpost multiple times has cost it NIS 1,790,000 ($527,050).

The law suit comes exactly one year after a major demolition operation destroyed the town. The residents have been marking the anniversary with protests and renewed construction.

The residents built their makeshift homes south of the Negev city of Rahat on state-owned land. Time after time, the authorities demolished the structures, and time after time, the residents rebuilt them. The suit aims to cover the costs of the evacuations, which include equipment use and police security among other expenses.

The Southern District Prosecution has directed the suit at 34 people. The prosecution accused the defendants of refusing to vacate the land despite various court rulings and eviction warrants, and of building without permits.

Moreover, the prosecution claimed the significant construction near a Rahat-adjacent cemetery "serves as a site for protest rallies and a symbol of the defendant's success in bypassing the law."
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