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Al-Araqib refuses to surrender after 133rd demolition

Sept. 6, 2018 12:18 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 17, 2018 2:05 P.M.)
NEGEV (Ma'an) -- Israeli military bulldozers demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for the 133rd time, on Thursday.

Despite continuous demolitions of the village by the Israeli authorities, residents insist on rebuilding their homes each time they are demolished to the ground.

Al-Araqib was demolished for the 132nd time on August 16th; Israeli forces had detained Sheikh of the village, Sayyah al-Turi, and his son Aziz, alongside another resident identified as Salim Abu Ashraf under the pretext of obstructing the work of Israeli authorities and attempting to prevent the demolition.

Israel has recently approved the construction of four new Israeli settlements in the Negev area.

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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