Ehud Olmert, since taking the position of Israeli Prime Minister a month ago, has waged a daily war against Arab citizens and their homes in Al Naqab, the Negev Desert. Their villages are considered “unrecognized.”
According to Arab forces in the police, special units, and staff of the Ministry of Interior, there are dozens of homes slated to be demolished. Israeli bulldozers invaded Abu Talol Village and demolished two homes belonging to Hamid Al Omrani’s family Wednesday. Exiting or entering the village is prevented as Israeli police have completely closed it.
Al Omrani’s home were surrounded by dozens of others in the northern edge of the village, falling well within the map that the Israeli government officially recognized in July 2005.
However, President of the Local Committee, Alaesem Attiya, confirmed during a session that there had been no change in the recognition of the village borders. He said Wednesday that there had been no contact from the Israeli government with the population, at any point, to debate the village borders since they were agreed upon in July.
Attiya said that the Israeli authorities have demolished at least 30 houses in the village throughout the past 15 years, a few at a time. Today nearly 600 houses exist on four square kilometers, which is all that remains after the Israeli government confiscated a great deal of the village for the military industry called “Magshimim Beka.” This is an area that also belongs to other Arab villages and covers approximately 56,000 dunams of land.
Chairman of the Commission session, Mohammed Abu Hauf, said that the crime of demolishing the homes illustrates the Israeli government’s insistence to fight against the presence of Arabs in Al Naqab, the Negev, and its attempts to continue pushing them into ghetto conditions and exercise daily terrorism against them.
Abu Hauf said, “At a time when the Prime Minister travels to the United States to allegedly talk about Israel’s ‘quest for peace and security in the region,’ he sends the staff of the Ministry of Interior and police force to extract citizens from their homes, demolish the homes and leave the people with no where to go, without recognizing the existence of this village. This has been happening since 1948 in Palestine, since Israel imposed its state on Palestinian lands.”
He added, “Olmert speaks of what he called ‘international terrorism’ and the threat to the security of Israeli citizens. He says this at a time when he is sending troops to exercise daily terrorism against innocent citizens who should be able to expect safety in their homes, lands and respect for property laws.” Abu Hauf called on all democratic Arab forces to push back and stop the persecution of Arabs in Al Naqab, the Negev Desert.