Israeli bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Negev desert of southern Israel, for the 143rd time, on Wednesday.
Locals reported that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police forces, demolished residential structures and tents of al-Araqib villagers, leaving women, children and the elderly without any shelter.
Villagers said that they insist on remaining in their village, adding that they will keep rebuilding their village.
The continuing 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 âunrecognizedâ by Israel, al-Araqib does not receive any services from the Israeli government and is constantly subjected to 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 of the 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.
Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (firstname.lastname@example.org)