Israeli forces yesterday arrested three residents from the Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb yesterday, a day after razing the area for the 157th time.
The prisoners were identified as Aziz Sayah Al-Turi, son of Al-Araqeeb Chief Sheikh Sayah Al-Turi, Salim Mohammed and Layla Al-Sanei.
No details have emerged about the reasons for their detention. It is believed that they were detained for being present in the village at the time the forces arrived to demolish it.
Israeli occupation authorities have increased their demolition of Al-Araqeeb in recent months and the arrest of the village’s residents, in an attempt to force locals to leave the city.
Located in the Negev (Naqab) desert, the village is one of 51 “unrecognised” Arab villages in the area and is continuously targeted for demolition ahead of plans to Judaise the Naqab by building homes for new Jewish communities. Israeli bulldozers, which Bedouins are charged for, have demolished everything, from the trees to the water tanks, but Bedouin residents have tried to rebuild it every time.
Bedouins in the Naqab must abide by the same laws as Jewish Israeli citizens. They pay taxes but do not enjoy the equal rights and services as Jews in Israel, and the state has repeatedly refused to connect the towns to the national grid, water supplies and other vital amenities.
Head of the Popular Committee for Defending Al-Araqeeb, Ahmed Abu-Mdeghim, told Arab48 that the Israeli attack on the village “is still continuous on a daily basis,” including detentions, demolitions and scaring residents.
“Despite all of the systematic harassment, the Israeli occupation will not succeed in expelling us from Al-Araqeeb,” he said.