Monday, September 25, 2017

Bedouin village destroyed for the 101st time on the 6th anniversary of its 1st demolition


By EloÔse Bollack - August 09, 2016
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [al-Araqib] [Bedouins] [demolition] [House Demolition] [Prawer Plan] [Negev Desert] [Naqab]

There is no rest for the residents of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib, in the Negev desert in southern Israel. On July 27, as inhabitants were to commemorate the not so happy anniversary of their village’s first demolition that occurred six years earlier, Israeli Forces stormed in just before dawn and two bulldozers knocked down three shacks. Al Araqib was demolished for the 101st time.

Since July 19, bulldozers of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) have resume their work around the village, as part of a forestation project. In the days before the demolition, they entered entered the last of the remaining village territory to level lands.
 
Several residents, including children and an 80 year-old man, and two Israeli activists were arrested as they attempted to stop the bulldozers. All residents were released within a few days under the condition that they keep away from the JNF workers for the next month, according to the Israeli NGO Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF).
 
Al Araqib, one of the 35 unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev, was declared state land in 1953 under Israel’s Land Appropriation Law. In 2005, 700 dunam seized from the village were attributed to the JNF’s Ambassador Forest project.
 
Villagers argue that the JNF cannot resume its work as judicial authorities have not determined the status of the land yet. The ruling is expected on Sept. 25, at the Beersheba regional court.
 
 
However since 2014, a fine of 50,000 shekels-a-day ($12,500) was imposed on any resident, including minors, who continues to live there. The fine was motivated by the residents alleged "disregard of the Israeli courts, and not implementing verdicts to evacuate the village". In addition, Israeli authorities are demanding two million shekels ($500,000) as compensation of the costs of the first eight demolitions. 
 
Nowadays, out of the 35 families, only 20 people remain in a handful of tents gathered around the cemetery. Most have moved to the nearby township of Rahat.
 
 
On July 30, the village hosted an event for the six-year anniversary of the first demolition and to mark the 101th-demolition. 
 
A day later, the residents of Al Araqib were in Umm Al Hieran, another unrecognized Bedouin village to be razed to make way for an authorized Jewish community. A civilian and three Israeli policemen were injured during the protest; and six, including two minors, were taken into police custody.

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