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‘We will rebuild’, Palestinians say as Israel demolishes village for 143rd time

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 bulldozers demolished the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev desert for the 143rd time yesterday.

Locals reported that Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police forces, demolished residential structures and tents of Al-Araqeeb villagers, leaving women, children and the elderly without a shelter.

Villagers said that they will continue to live in the village and keep rebuilding it in spite of the Israeli occupation’s attempts to force them away.

Israel has been trying to force residents to move to government-zones townships.

READ: Israel delivers demolition notices to 13 homes in Jerusalem 

Al-Araqeeb is one of 51 Arab villages in the Negev the Israeli occupation authorities do not recognise and has been targeted for demolition ahead of building homes for new Jewish communities.

Israel has imposed fines on the villagers of Al-Araqeeb worth millions of dollars, Quds Press said, and charges them for the use of the Israeli bulldozers which carry out the demolition of their homes.

Israeli courts decide that the owners of the unlicensed homes must demolish them, but when they fail to do so, Israeli bulldozers carry out the demolitions and the owners are ordered to pay for the bulldozers.

In 1969, Israel called on Arab land owners to register their land with the authorities, but since then they have not accepted any of the applications made by Arab residents of the Negev (Naqab).

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