Bulldozers backed by Israeli forces destroyed the Bedouin village of al-Araqeeb in the Negev Desert on Thursday for the 86th time in the last four years.
“Israeli bulldozers forced their way into the village under the protection of dozens of Israeli forces,” Attia al-Asam, who heads the regional council of unrecognised Bedouin communities in the Negev, told Anadolu Agency.
Israeli forces surrounded the village and displaced the population before demolishing the residents’ houses, the local leader added.
Saleem Al-Wakili, a 57-year-old Bedouin resident, said: “it is the 86th time they destroyed my house and I will rebuild ittomorrow.”
“The Israelis are trying to exile us from our land by demolishing our homes, but they will not succeed,” he added.
The Israeli government classifies approximately 40 villages in the Negev Desert as “unrecognised,” arguing that the roughly 55,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there cannot prove their ownership of the land.
There are around 1.6 million Arabs in Israel, accounting for around 20 percent of the country’s population.
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