Israel demolishes Bedouin village for 50th time

12:00 May 9 2013 Al-Araqeeb

BEERSHEBA, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israel on Thursday demolished a Bedouin village in southern Israel for the 50th time in two years, locals said.

A large force of Israeli police raided al-Arakib as bulldozers demolished homes in the Negev village, said local landowner Aziz al-Tori.

"We confirmed that we will stay steadfast in our lands, despite the injustice and tyranny of the Israeli authority," al-Tori told Ma'an. "We will rebuild our houses, even if they demolish them thousand times."

Al-Tori called on residents of the Negev and solidarity activists to pay attention to the village's plight and to unite to defend the land.

On Monday, an Israeli government committee approved a draft bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said.

"The government approved a plan that will cause the displacement and forced eviction of dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Bedouin residents, dispossessing them of their property and historical rights to their lands, destroying the social fabric of their communities, and sealing the fate of thousands of families into poverty and unemployment," ACRI lawyer Rawia Aburabia said.

"All of this while the government simultaneously promotes the establishment of new Jewish communities, some of which are even slated to be built on the fresh ruins of Bedouin villages," Aburabia said in a statement.

Israel does not recognize 35 of the 46 Bedouin towns and villages in the Negev which are home to around 90,000 people, according to ACRI.

The "unrecognized" villages are not connected to water, electricity or sewerage systems.

The draft bill approved Monday sets a framework to implement the evacuation of "unrecognized" villages, most of which existed before the state of Israel.


by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Thursday May 9 2013, for the fiftieth time in two years, the Israeli Authorities demolished the Bedouin Arab village of Al-Araqeeb, in the Negev, displacing dozens of families as part of the so-called “Negev Development Plan” that aims at building shopping centers and Jewish communities.

The Maan News Agency has reported that dozens of Israeli police jeeps and vehicles invaded the village, and demolished the homes.

Resident Aziz At-Toury, told Maan that the residents are determined to remain steadfast is their lands despite the ongoing Israeli aggression.

“Despite the aggression, injustice and tyranny, we will stay here”, At-Toury told Maan, “We will rebuild our homes again, even if they demolish them a thousand times”.

Furthermore, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI”), reported that the Israeli government approved a plan that would cause the forced removal of dozens of Bedouin communities in the Negev, in a move that would deprive them from their historical rights in their lands.

ACRI lawyer, Rawiya Abu Rabia, stated that the Israeli violations are robbing the residents of their historic rights and destroying the social fabric of these communities in the Negev, and added that these illegal policies would push thousands of families into unemployment and poverty.

Abu Rabia added that, while Israeli is displacing the Bedouin Arab families, and continuously demolishing their homes and villages, “Israel’s government continued to promote the development of Jewish communities in the area, some of these communities will be built on the ruins of those Bedouin villagers”. Maan said.

The ACRI said 36 out of 46 Bedouin villages in the Negev, home to more than 90.000 persons, are not recognized by Israel, therefore, the residents continue to face displacement and violations depriving them from their basic rights.

The villages, unrecognized by Israel, do not have infrastructure, therefore are without basic services including water, electricity, sewage systems or even health services.

On Monday, the Israeli government, approved the framework for the eviction and removal of all “unrecognized” villahes in the Negev despite the fact that these villages existed even before the state of Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine in 1948.


In 2005, Israel approved the so-called “Negev Development Plan” aiming at building shopping centers and tourist areas, but at the same time displacing around some 65.000 Bedouins living in what Israel refers to as “unrecognized villages”.

Al-Araqeeb village in the Negev is one of the most impacted “unrecognized villages” in the Negev.

The plan calls for annexing more than 700.000 Dunams (185329 acres) and displacing the residents by demolishing 14 villages in the area.

All unrecognized villages in the Negev are under continuing Israeli attacks and violations, as Tel Aviv does not recognize the residents' right to live on their land -- land they inhabited long before the 1948 creation of the state of Israel in historic Palestine.

Unrecognized villages in the Negev are under continuing Israeli attacks and violations, as Tel Aviv does not recognize the residents' right to live on their land -- land they inhabited long before the 1948 creation of the state of Israel in historic Palestine.
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