Authorities Demolish Bedouin Village in Negev for the 90th Time

Israeli authorities have demolished an Arab-Bedouin village in the country’s southern Negev region for the 90th time since 2010. Accompanied by units of heavily armed police officers, officials showed up at Al-Araqib on Wednesday morning, October 29, and bulldozed the homes and other structures that stood there, according to Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language daily newspaper of the Communist Party of Israel. Al-Araqib is one of more than 40 “unrecognized” villages in the the Negev region.

"Stop the demolitions of Al-Araqib" – a protest vigil at Lehavim junction in the Negev

“Stop the demolitions of Al-Araqib” – a protest vigil at Lehavim junction in the Negev (Photo: Negev Coexistence Forum)

An estimated 80,000 Arab-Bedouin Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship live in these communities which are often denied state services including water, electricity, garbage collection and education facilities, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights estimates that 22 families made up of 110 people still live in Al-Araqib. After each demolition, the villagers return and rebuild their community. Israel claims the villagers’ homes were built without permits, while inhabitants say they were placed on the land after being uprooted from their original villages during the Israel’s 1948 war.

MK Yousef (Hadash) a legislator in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and member of the Joint List said that the “demolition of Al-Araqib is ongoing escalation against our community.” Jabareen told Al Jazeera: “Instead of adopting policies of equal allocation of resources and responding to the special socioeconomic needs of the Arab community [in Israel], Israeli leaders – including [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu – continue to increase these harsh, discriminatory policies,”.