Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 184th time

Bedouins attend Friday prayer under a tent in the Al-Araqeeb village (Hazem Bader - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  March 12, 2021

Israel yesterday demolished the Palestinian-Israeli Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev region for the 184th time.

Despite the cold weather, Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Araqeeb; home to 22 Palestinian families, and destroyed their makeshift properties which are made of wood, plastic and corrugated iron.

The village was last demolished on 17 February and this is the third time Israel has razed the village since the start of the year.

The village was first levelled in July 2010, and every time the residents of Al-Araqeeb rebuild their tents and small homes, occupation forces return to raze them, sometime several times in a month.

Located in the Negev (Naqab) desert, the village is one of 51 “unrecognised” Arab villages in the area and is constantly targeted for demolition ahead of plans to Judaise the Negev by building homes for new Jewish communities. Israeli bulldozers, which Bedouins are charged for, have demolished everything, from the trees to the water tanks, but Bedouin residents have tried to rebuild it every time.

Bedouins in the Negev must abide by the same laws as Jewish Israeli citizens. They pay taxes but do not enjoy the same rights and services as Jews in Israel and the state has repeatedly refused to connect the towns to the national grid, water supplies, and other vital amenities.