Israeli soldiers, police officers and personnel of the so-called “Negev Development Authority” invaded, Thursday, the al-Arakib Bedouin village, in the Negev, and demolished it for the 139th consecutive time.
The villagers stated that dozens of soldiers and police officers invaded the community, accompanied by bulldozers, and demolished the tents, barns and sheds.
They added that the officers attacked many of villagers, before forcing them out of their dwellings, despite the cold weather.
The police also abducted the head of the Popular Committee in al-‘Arakib, Ahmad Khalil Abu Mdeighim, in addition to three women.
They were released several hours after the soldiers demolished the village and withdrew from the area.
Israeli demolitions of al-Araqib are carried out in the attempt to force the Bedouin population to relocate to government-zoned townships.
Like the 34 other Bedouin villages “unrecognized” by Israel, al-Araqib does not receive any services from the Israeli government and is constantly subjected to the threats of expulsion and home demolition.
These “unrecognized” villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, following the creation of the state of Israel, when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes and made refugees.
Many Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel’s military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.
Now, more than 60 years later, the Bedouin villages have yet to be legally recognized by Israel and live under constant threat of demolition and forcible removal.