The Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, started on Wednesday morning implementing what is known as “The Negev and Galilee Development Plan” by demolishing three Arab houses in Al Za’roura and Al Boheira villages, both unrecognized by Israel, in the Negev.
Dozens of Israeli policemen and Special Forces guarded the bulldozers while leveling the houses that belong to the Osama Farraj, who was planning to get married next week and live there with his wife.
The second house belongs to Awadalah Abu Jouda. Abu Jouda was living in his house with his pregnant wife and his four children.
Dozens of residents gathered in the area in an attempt to stop the leveling of the two houses but Israeli policemen and soldiers were intensively present in the area and barred them from reaching the two houses.
After leveling the house of Abu Jouda, the police and bulldozers headed towards the house of Osama Farraj and leveled it.
The father of Osama begged the policemen to delay the leveling of the house at least until his son gets married, but they leveled it over its furniture.
“They transformed our happiness into grief, they leveled the house over its new furniture which coasted us more than 150 thousand shekels”, the father said, “This is a criminal act, they want to level the house and kill our happiness”.
The third house was leveled in Al Boheira village. The house belongs to Adel Al Awadat.
Hussein Al Rafai’a, head of The Regional Council of the Unrecognized Villages, said that the council has decided to rebuild the three houses, and to organize a protest in front of the Knesset building in addition to installing a tent in front of the Knesset to protest the unjust decisions some Israeli senior officials take against the Arabs in the Negev in order to carry on what is known as “The Negev Development Plan” which mainly aims to build more houses for settlers.
Atiyya Al A’sam, head of the Association of Forty, which represents the unrecognized villages in Israel, said that the repeated demolitions are causing severe crises to the residents especially while the Israeli government is not attempting to provide them with any alternatives.
“This is discrimination, racism, against the Arabs in the Negev”, Al A’sam stated, “This shows clear hatred against the Arabs”.
Also on Wednesday morning, Israeli police removed a tent installed by Noury Al Aqby, head of the Association of Forty, which is an association for supporting and protecting the rights of the Bedouins.
The tent, which was leveled for the second time in two weeks, was installed on his land in Al Araqeeb area in the Negev.
Israeli and Arab activists built the tent in protest to the Israeli procedures and to introduce the public to the issue of Al Aqbi tribe that was expelled from its land in Al Araqeeb in 1951.