On Tuesday, the Israeli authorities demolished the Al-Arakib Bedouin village in the Negev for the sixth time this year and the 217th since 2010.
Several Israeli police vehicles, including bulldozers, invaded the ‘unrecognized’ Bedouin village and forced the families out of their dwellings before demolishing its various structures, including residential tents, sheds, and barns.
The demolition of Al-Arakib is the sixth this year alone and is the second this month after the village was destroyed on May 1st.
The village was demolished fifteen times last year and fourteen times in 2021; each time it is destroyed, the villagers rebuild their sheds and tents, using simple wood and plastic covers to shelter themselves and their livestock from the extreme summer heat and cold winters.
Al-Arakib was first destroyed on July 27, 2010, as Israel refuses to recognize it, although it predates Israel.
Al-Arakib is a Palestinian village located to the north of the city of Beersheba in the Negev desert (southern Palestine). It was established for the first time during Ottoman rule.
It is one of the 51 Arab villages in the Negev that the Israeli government does not recognize, although they predate Israel.
The occupation authorities have worked since 1951 to expel its residents to control their lands through extensive house demolitions and the vast lands equivalent to two-thirds of historic Palestine.
Israeli bulldozers demolished the village on July 27, 2010; Israeli troops demolished all its homes and displaced hundreds of its residents under the pretext of building without a permit. The residents of the village built it again, to be demolished again and again.
The steadfastness of Al-Arakib became a symbol of the battle of wills waged by the Palestinians of the occupied interior, especially in the Negev, to survive and preserve land and identity.
About 240,000 Palestinians live in the Negev desert, half of whom live in villages and Bedouin camps, some of which have been in place for hundreds of years.
The Israeli occupation authorities do not recognize their ownership of the lands of these villages and communities, refuse to provide them with basic services such as water and electricity, and try by all means and methods to push the Palestinian Arabs to despair and frustration to uproot and displace them.
Article 17 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ” 1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. 2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.