Israeli bulldozers demolished, on Monday, the Arab Bedouin village of Al-Arakib, in the Negev region of Israel, for the 221st time.

Since 2010, Israeli authorities have demolished the residential structures, belonging to the Bedouin residents of Al-Arakib, 221 times, leaving its inhabitants homeless.

The residential tents and structures, built from wood, tin, and plastic, were destroyed by Israeli authorities, leaving the Bedouin residents without shelter from the elements.

The Israeli government refuses to recognize the inhabitants’ legal right to the land, and continues to deny its inhabitants basic services of water and electricity.

On July 27, 2010, the village was first demolished by Israeli bulldozers, under the pretext of building without a permit.

Residents of the village continue to rebuild their residential structures each time the authorities destroy it, determined to remain on their land.

According to a Human Rights Watch report from July 27, 2010, the following is a detailed account of the events of that day.

    In a pre-dawn raid on July 27, 2010, Israeli security forces destroyed all 45 homes, animal pens, and other structures in the village of al-Araqib, leaving more than 300 people homeless, about half of them children under 16.

    The July 27 raid began around 4:30 a.m. when 1,300 armed police officers in riot helmets and shields blocked the entrance to the village and entered it. The force included mounted cavalry, helicopters, inspectors from the Israel Land Administration (ILA) – the government agency responsible for managing the 93 percent of Israeli land owned by the state, and demolition crews operating bulldozers.

    The crews forcibly removed the villagers, mostly children and elderly people, from their homes before the demolition operation began. Awad Abu Freih, spokesman for the al-Araqib civil committee, told Human Rights Watch that residents were unarmed and stayed in their homes after police arrived in a form of passive resistance.

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.

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