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Israel demolishes al-Araqib Bedouin village for 132nd time

Aug. 16, 2018 4:15 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 31, 2018 9:59 A.M.)
NEGEV (Ma'an) -- Israeli military bulldozers, escorted by heavily armed Israeli forces, demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 132nd time, on Thursday.

According to local sources, Israeli military bulldozers stormed the al-Araqib village and began to demolish their tents and homes, displacing the residents.

Israeli forces detained several residents of the village, including Sheikh Sayyah al-Turi along with his son Aziz, and Salim Abu Ashraf under the pretext of obstructing the work of Israeli authorities and attempting to prevent the demolition.

The demolition of the village comes after Israeli authorities decided to approve the construction of four new illegal Israeli settlements in the Negev area.

Residents of the village insist on continuing to fight back and resisting the demolition of their homes, stressing their rejection of the planned displacement.

The Israeli demolitions of al-Araqib are carried out in attempts to force the Bedouin population to relocate to government-zoned townships.

Like the 34 other Bedouin villages "unrecognized" by Israel, al-Araqib does not receive any services from the Israeli government and is constantly subjected to the threats of expulsion and home demolition.

These "unrecognized" villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of Israel, when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes and made refugees.

Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel's military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.

Now more than 60 years later, the Bedouin villages have yet to be legally recognized by Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.

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