Israeli occupation authorities yesterday demolished the Arab village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negevfor the 125th time in seven years, Quds Press reported.
Activist Aziz Al-Tawari said: “The Israeli occupation forces destroyed Al-Araqeeb Village for the 125th time since June 27 2010, under the pretext of being built on a state land.”
“All houses in the village, which is not recognised by the Israeli occupation authorities, were destroyed.”
“The Israeli occupation is trying to eradicate the identity of the village by faking history,” referring to the Israel’s claims that the village was built after 1948 when the state was formed.
“We have original documents prove that the village was built before the creation of the occupation state,” Al-Tawari said, reiterating that there are documents from the Othman rulers and the government of the British Mandate.
“They call for us to cede our land over claims it is state property but we will never do that. Historical rights do not fade, but the occupation fades and moves to the dumps of history.”
Israel last demolished the village on 24 January.
Al-Araqeeb 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.