Israel demolishes Bedouin village Al-Araqeeb for 114th time

Negev /PNN/
Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 114th today according local news agency s.

Eyewitnesses said officials from the Israel Land Authority (ILA), accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers, raided the village and demolished all the homes which were made of aluminium in the area, which were built by the village’s residents following the most recent demolition last month.

This is the sixth time this year that the village has been levelled.

In an interview with Quds Press, the head of the local committee to defend Al-Araqeeb, Aziz Al-Touri, said the occupation authorities “understand only the language of retaliation against Arabs and left people in the open, which indicates the extent of this entity’s criminality and indifference to human rights.”

Al-Araqeeb is one of 35 Bedouin villages which are “unrecognised” by Israel. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouins in the Negev reside in unrecognised villages in spite of the fact that they existed before the State of Israel was formed.

Al-Touri said the village’s residents will continue to rebuild their homes and their lives. “We will not bow to the occupation government and its racist procedures.”

Right groups say that the demolition of unrecognised Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.

Al-Araqeeb 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 village was last demolished in May.