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Israel demolishes Arab village of Al-Araqeeb for 199th times

March 23, 2022 at 11:18 am

Israeli forces can be seen demolishing the Arab village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev [Azez Alaraqib Alaraqib/Facebook]

Israeli occupation authorities yesterday demolished the Bedouin Arab village of Al-Araqeeb in the Neveg region for the 199th time, Arab48 reported.

This is the second time the village has been destroyed this year. It was demolished 14 times last year. Every time, its residents refuse to leave the area and persistently rebuild their homes, stressing that they will not leave their land.

Occupation forces continue their daily provocation of the residents of the Arab village placing restrictions on their daily life, daily raids, razing their lands and homes.

There are 22 Arab families, consisting of about 800 people, living in the village. They live on the wealth brought in by their livestock.

The village was first destroyed in 2010.

Israeli authorities claim that the site where it is located falls under “state land”. However, the Bedouin proved in the 1970s their ownership of 1,250 dunams (1.25 square kilometer) of land.

READ: Israel demolishes Arab village in Negev for 198th times

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

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.

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, demolish everything, from the trees to the water tanks, but Bedouin residents have tried to rebuild it every time.

Bedouin 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.

More demolitions - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

More demolitions – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]