Israeli soldiers and police officers demolished, Thursday, the al-Arakib Bedouin village in the Negev, for the 174th consecutive time, and for the fourth time this year alone.
Residents of al-Arakib stated that the soldiers and officers demolished and removed their tents and sheds, which were used to house them, and shelter them from the cold, amidst the stormy weather of the Negev.
They added that the police recently abducted and imprisoned a local Sheikh and social figure, identified as Siyah at-Touri, in addition to several other villagers, after accusing them of “occupying state land.”
It is worth mentioning that Israel started targeting the Bedouin village since the year 2000, in an attempt to displace and relocate them, as part of the so-called “Negev Development Plan,” which aims at transferring the Bedouin to build resorts and houses for Israeli settlers.
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.