Israeli authorities yesterday demolished the Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev Desert for the 121st time.
The head of Al-Araqeeb Popular Committee, Ahmed Abu Medegham, said Israeli bulldozers accompanied by military forces arrived in the village this morning and demolished the residents’ tents, leaving them homeless.
“For the 121st consecutive time, Al-Araqeeb has been destroyed by this extreme, right-wing racist government that has taken upon itself to drain the strength and patience of the people in this village,” Abu Medegham told Quds Press.
Israeli forces last demolished Al-Araqeeb on 25 October. It was first levelled on 27 July 2010. Residents have been ordered to pay for all demolitions at a cost of over half a million dollars.
Al-Araqeb is one of 35 “unrecognised” Bedouin villages. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouins in the Negev reside in unrecognised villages.
The unrecognised Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the State of Israel.
Right groups say that the demolition of unrecognised Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.