A large force of Israeli police and special forces supported by armoured bulldozers, machinery and trucks have demolished a Palestinian village for the sixth time. The Israelis entered Al-Arakib in the Negev region (part of Palestine occupied in 1948), on the morning of 13 October. Local sources said that the occupation forces imposed a tight cordon around the village, setting up checkpoints at its entrances; people, including media representatives, were prevented from entering or leaving the village. The same sources said that clashes took place between the Israel occupation authority’s forces and the villagers. Israeli police arrested a number of residents along with activists who were trying to stop the demolitions.
In a public statement, the people of Al-Arakib called upon human rights, humanitarian and international organisations to stand with them against Israeli policies targeting Al-Arakib with the intention of driving its people away so that farms can be built for Jews on Palestinian land. Even though the Israeli forces demolished 40 homes in the village, the residents insist that they will rebuild them and not submit to this insidious ethnic cleansing by the Israeli government.
The Islamic Movement in Negev denounced what happened in Al-Arakib. The movement’s leader, Sheikh Ali Abu Qarn, said, “The demolitions won’t deter any of us from staying in our land. It is a battle of resolve and perseverance. Bulldozers will not destroy the will of our people in Al-Arakib, as they are like a good tree which is rooted firmly in the land. They depend on Allah. The Islamic Movement will continue to support the people of Al-Arakib.”