JNF (Jewish National Fund) bulldozers re-entered the village of al-Arakib this morning and destroyed buildings that were put up after yesterday’s destruction.This is now the 18th time that al-Arakib has been destroyed in a matter of months. The last occasion was yesterday. The Alternative Information Centre reports that police, riot police and Special Forces were involved in the operation, which occurred in the early hours of this morning. Residents were barricaded into the cemetery where they had fled for safety after yesterday’s destruction and were sleeping.
Later on, residents from the nearby city of Rahat came to al-Arakib and demonstrated in support of the villagers. They were blocked from entering the village and riot police opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas. They were chased for approximately 2 kilometers and seven were arrested, including two children.
Al-Arakib is a Bedouin village which pre-dates the state of Israel. Although residents have tax receipts and deeds of ownership dating back to the Ottoman years, the Israeli authorities do not consider these valid and have not recognized the village. As part of Operation Blueprint Negev, the JNF intends to plant a forest over the area presently occupied by the village.