Israeli police clashed Thursday with residents of the unrecognized village of Bir Al-Mashash in the Negev desert, Palestinian media sources reported.

A large police force, including around 20 vehicles, raided the village to hand home demolition orders to residents.  Four young men, a 22-year-old woman, and her 3-year-old baby were wounded during the confrontation.

“The police came to give us demolition orders to kick us from our land, so the residents of the village clashed with them,” said 35-year-old Salem Al-Wkeili.  A mother and her baby from the Abu Sbeit family were beaten by the police, he added. They were taken to Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva for treatment.

Bir Al-Mashash village is home to around 4,000 Arab residents of Israel, but the government does not recognize the village and plans to demolish all structures there.  Because it is not recognized by the state, the village lacks basic services:  There are no paved roads or electricity, and only one one-inch water pipeline supplies the whole village with water.

“These demolition orders are part of the Israel attempts to drive us out of our village, but this will not affect us,” Al-Wkeili said. “I was born here, and like my parents and grandparents, I will continue to live here.  We will hold on to our land, and we will have the Israeli government recognize it. We are citizens of the state of Israel, and we want to claim our rights.”

Bir Al-Mashash is one of many villages that the state of Israel does not recognize.  All the inhabitants of the unrecognized villages are Arabs, and all are Israeli passport holders.