Israel civil authorities demolished on Thursday, February 6, the Arab-Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in the south of the country for the 174th time. Israeli police broke into the village and dismantled and confiscated the tin homes residents set up every time their village is demolished. The first demolition of al-Araqib took place in late June 2010. Al-Araqib is one of 35 Arab-Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli government.
According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Arab-Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages, which the state refuses to provide with a planning structure and place under municipal jurisdiction. ACRI said the Israeli government uses a variety of measures to pressure Arab-Bedouins into relocating to government-planned urban centers that disregard their lifestyle and needs. “Whole communities have been issued demolition orders; others are forced to continue living in unrecognized villages that are denied basic services and infrastructure, such as electricity and running water,” said the ACRI.
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