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Israel demolishes Bedouin village Al-Araqeeb for 144th times

An Israeli policewoman walk past a protest against the demolition of houses belonging to bedouins in Al-Araqeeb [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]
An Israeli policewoman walks past a demonstration against the demolition of the bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli occupation forces yesterday demolished the Arab village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negevand displaced its residents for the 144th times, Arab48 reported.

Witnesses from the village said Israeli bulldozers, protected by a large number of heavily armed Israeli police officers, stormed the village and destroyed the homes of Arab residents, including the elderly, women and children; leaving them homeless once again.

The village was last targeted on 17 April; a number of the villagers were arrested as they tried to stop their homes being levelled.

Residents are accused of building without licenses and have been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the cost of demolition.

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.

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

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.

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