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Israel displaces Al-Araqeeb villagers for 162nd time

Israeli forces have left Palestinians homeless as they demolished Al-Araqeeb [Arab48]
Israeli forces have left Palestinians homeless as they demolished Al-Araqeeb [Arab48]

Israeli authorities yesterday demolished all the homes and tents in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev desert for the 162th time, displacing its residents.

According to local sources, Israeli police forces and employees from the Bedouin development authority, which is responsible for such demolitions, stormed the village and forcibly removed the residents from their homes before razing their homes.

In early September, Israeli police forces stormed the village, razed homes and detained women and children in an attempt to intimidate the local residents and force them to leave the area.

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.

Al-Araqeeb village head: Israel trying to impose military rule in Negev

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.

READ: Israel to demolish playground in Bedouin village

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