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Israel razes Palestinian village for the 190th time

Bedouins attend Friday prayer under a tent in the Al-Araqeeb village on 14 May 2010 [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]
Bedouins attend Friday prayer under a tent in the Al-Araqeeb village on 14 May 2010 [HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli authorities today demolished for the 190th time the Arab Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the southern Negev region.

"The Israeli authorities demolished the Al-Araqeeb village for the 190th time," Aziz Al-Touri, a member of the Committee for the Defence of Al-Araqeeb, told Anadolu Agency. This is the eighth time the village has been levelled this year.

Homes in Al-Araqeeb, which is inhabited by 22 Palestinian families, are built of wood, plastic and corrugated iron.

Al-Touri confirmed that the villagers intend to rebuild their destroyed dwellings and structures.

Zochrot, a Tel Aviv-based NGO, said in a recent report that Al-Araqeeb village was first built during the Ottoman period and its land was purchased by residents.

The village was first levelled in July 2010, and every time the residents of Al-Araqeeb rebuild their tents and small homes, occupation forces return to raze them, sometime several times in a month.

READ: Israel wants to demolish 100 homes to build a settler park

Located in the Negev (Naqab) desert, the village is one of 51 "unrecognised" Arab villages in the area and is constantly targeted for demolition ahead of plans to Judaise the Negev 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 Negev must abide by the same laws as Jewish Israeli citizens. They pay taxes but do not enjoy the same 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.

Israeli authorities seek to seize control of the lands and expel its residents, with dozens of villages and Bedouin communities facing the same threat in the Negev area, according to Zochrot.

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