NEGEV (Ma’an) -- Israeli bulldozers on Thursday demolished homes in the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 92nd time, leaving several Palestinians homeless, locals said.
Palestinian local Ahmad Abu Mdeighem told Ma’an that Israeli police imposed a blockade around the village before carrying out the demolitions.
Israeli excavators just under a month ago demolished all housing structures in al-Araqib as well as the village cemetery, which was levelled.
Prior to the demolition, residents of al-Araqib had repeatedly fled to the village cemetery and lived there after Israeli authorities bulldozed their property, since they had been assured the cemetery would not be destroyed.
Saleem al-Araqib, a resident of the village, told Ma’an at the time that the demolition of houses and the cemetery would “not change our attitude toward defending our land.”
Al-Araqib is populated primarily by Palestinian Bedouins with Israeli citizenship and has been targeted repeatedly since 2010 for demolition by authorities.
Israel considers al-Araqib and most other Palestinian villages in the Negev illegal, while Bedouins say it is their ancestral land and that they have a right to live in the area.
Approximately 80,000 Bedouins living in Israel reside in villages that state refuses to recognize, and are under constant threat of displacement.
Israeli policy regarding Palestinian Bedouins has been slammed by Human Rights Watch as completely disregarding international law that forbids discriminatory evictions