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Bedouin village demolished for 206th time

Jerusalem24 – Israeli forces demolished the de-recognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in the southern Naqab (Negev) region for the 206th time today.

Aziz al-Touri, a member of the Committee for the Defense of al-Araqib, told Anadolu Agency that the people “will rebuild their village.”

The Israeli authorities demolished the village’s homes in August as well.

The houses of Al-Araqib are built of wood, plastic, and tin, and are inhabited by 22 families.

The Israeli authorities demolished the village for the first time on 27 July 2010, and since then it has been demolished every time the residents rebuild it, sometimes merely days afterwards.

The Israeli government does not recognize the village of Al-Araqib, but its residents insist on remaining on their land despite repeated demolitions.

The Zochrot organization which includes Israeli activists (Jews and Palestinians) and chronicles the Palestinian Nakba in 1948, says that the authorities are working to expel the residents of the village with the aim of controlling their lands, noting that Israel does not recognize dozens of other villages in the Naqab region and refuses to provide any services to them, even though they have Israeli citizenship.

There are around 200,000 Bedouin living in the Naqab. Around half live in seven townships built by the Israeli government, while the other half live in over 40 villages, the large majority of which are not recognized by Israel – even those existing prior to 1948.

According to a 2006 report by Adva Center, the government-built townships lack appropriate infrastructure, are unable to provide work for their residents or social services at a reasonable level, and “do not constitute a viable alternative for residents of unrecognized villages.”

There is a long-standing Israeli policy to attempt to relocate the Bedouin population into these townships and off their original villages and lands, which NGOs including Adalah say is the main reason for refusing to recognize the remaining Bedouin villages, in order to “clear a path for Jewish settlement and development.”

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 5+ years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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