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Israel fines, sentences head of Al-Araqeeb village

Palestinians come together to protest against the demolition of Al-Araqeeb [Azez Alaraqib Alaraqib/Facebook]
Palestinians come together to protest against the demolition of Al-Araqeeb [Azez Alaraqib Alaraqib/Facebook]

Israeli Magistrate Court of Beersheva in the Negev yesterday confirmed a ten-month jail term for the head of Al-Araqeeb village, which has been demolished by occupation forces 132 times, Quds Pressreported.

Activist Aziz Al-Turi told the news site that the Israeli court “turned down an appeal filed by his father Sheikh Sayyah Al-Turi, 70, the head of the village, against the ruling issued last year.”

He added: “The Israeli court sentenced the head of the tribe to ten months in the Israeli jails and five months suspended imprisonment, in addition to a fine of 36,000 shekels ($9,100).”

The Israeli court found Al-Turi guilty in 18 cases filed in November 2013, including trespassing on state property, in reference to land where the village is built.

READ: ‘I became an invader in my own land’ – a Palestinian Bedouin’s struggle

Al-Araqeeb has been demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities 132 times since July 2010.

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 policyaimed 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.

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