Israeli occupation forces have demolished the Arab Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the southern Negev region for the 202nd time, Wafa News Agency reported.
According to residents, Israeli soldiers forced Palestinian women and children out of their homes and proceeded to destroy their belongings and shelters they had rebuilt from previous demolitions.
The village was demolished 14 times last year. Each 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 lives, executing daily raids and razing their lands and homes.
Zochrot, a Tel Aviv-based NGO, recounted in a recent report that Al-Araqeeb 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, sometimes several times a month.
Located in the Negev (Naqab) desert, the village is one of 51 “unrecognised” Arab villages in the area. It is constantly targeted for demolition ahead of plans to Judaise the Negev by building homes for new Jewish communities. Israeli bulldozers – for which Bedouins are charged – have demolished everything from the trees to water tanks.
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. 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.