Scores of Palestinians, including officials, demonstrated yesterday in support of the Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb which has been demolished by occupation forces more than 130 times, Arab48 reported.
The Negev village of Al-Araqeeb was first razed in 2010 and has been demolished 134 times since under pretexts that it was built without the needed licenses. The last demolition was carried out earlier this month.
The demonstrations came as part of the weekly popular activities being organised in support of the village, which Israel is planning to remove in order to make way for the expansion of its illegal settlements.
Protesters gathered in support of 70-year-old Sheikh Sayyah Al-Turi who was handed a ten month jail term in August and fined 36,000 shekels ($9,100) by the Israeli Magistrate's Court in Beer Sheva. The court found him guilty in 18 cases filed in November 2013, including trespassing on state property, in reference to land where the village is built.
Representatives of Palestinian communities and MKs took part in the demonstration, including Arab Members of the Knesset Haneen Zoabi, Talab Abu-Arrar, Jumaa Zabarqeh and Jamal Zahalka.
"Israel plans the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians, not just some of them," Zoabi said during the demonstration. "Resistance is the drug of victory for Khan Al-Ahmar and it will be the same for our people in the Negev," she added.
"Israel made it clear that it is a colonial project and there are no borders that stop its ethnic cleansing and uprooting of indigenous inhabitants," she continued, stressing: "We must surprise it with our persistence and we must prove that we are ready to go to battle in defence of our rights."