On Friday [September 20, 2013] Israeli soldiers violently attacked international diplomats, and prevented dozens of residents from rebuilding the destroyed Khirbit Makhoul village, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains.The visiting diplomats came from France, Britain, Ireland, Spain and Australia, including diplomats of the European Union’s political bureau, who tried to render aid to the displaced impoverished villages of Makhoul village that was displaced three times.

A French diplomat was violently assaulted by the soldiers, and was dragged out of an aid truck.

The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that the soldiers used excessive force against the residents who were trying to rebuild their homes and structures, and assaulted a French diplomat who visited the area in solidarity with the displaced villagers.

WAFA added that the soldiers attacked several residents including children, reporters and elderly before kidnapping three residents and taking them to an unknown destination. Several residents suffered cuts and bruises after the soldiers violently assaulted by them.

Furthermore, the army prevented a number of international officials from entering the area to help the residents rebuild their residencies, sheds and shelters, and confiscated several tents.

The army also declared the area a closed military zone, preventing the residents and internationals from entering it.
Khirbit Makhoul small Bedouin village was destroyed on Thursday for the third time in a row, leading to the displacement of dozens of families.

Ongoing Displacement

Israel does not recognize dozens of small villages, Bedouin tribes, in the Northern Plains areas of the West Bank, and near occupied East Jerusalem, as well as near Hebron and other areas.

With no services, no recognition from the occupation, those villages have been repeatedly demolished, and removed, and the residents are frequently displaced due to Israel’s ongoing violations.

Bedouin villages in the Negev are also subject to such frequent attacks and violations, as dozens of small villages have been uprooted and demolished, some tribes have been displaced and their shelters removed hundreds of times.

Hundreds of similar attacks targeted Bedouins in the Negev, who live in villages unrecognized by Israel, and are subject to frequent displacement and ongoing assaults.

Around 70,000 Arab Bedouin – whose presence in the Negev dates to the seventh century – live in 35 villages that either predate the establishment of the state of Israel in historic Palestine in 1948.

These villages are not recognized by Israel, and the inhabitants are considered trespassers. Basic services have been withheld from these villages, and thousands of houses have been demolished since 2011.

Palestinian Bedouins have faced decades of repression and forced removal by Israeli authorities because of this refusal to recognize their legitimate claim to continue to live on their ancestral land.