The Consortium of Bedouin Tribes in the Gaza Strip yesterday condemned Israel’s detention of Sheikh Sayah Al-Turi and his wife after raiding their village of Al-Araqeeb in Naqab (Negev).
“Like other Sheikhs of Palestine, who stick to their lands and rights, Sheikh Sayah Al-Turi is considered a resistance icon,” the consortium said in a statement.
“Armed with his iron will, Al-Turi has been involved in a battle over the elimination of his village with the longest occupation on earth,” the statement added.
He and his sons have been detained several times in an attempt to force them to “give up the battle over the land of his village – Al Araqeeb, which was demolished by the Israeli occupation more than 200 times,” the statement continued.
The Consortium of Bedouin Tribes in the Gaza Strip called for supporting Al-Araqeeb, its chief, its families and its land.
Yesterday morning, a large number of Israeli occupation forces raided Al-Araqeeb and detained Al-Turi, his son Azeez and his wife.
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 in a month.
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.