Middle East Monitor / January 21, 2021
Israeli occupation forces demolished Al-Araqib village in the Negev Desert on Tuesday for the 182nd time, Anadolu and other agencies have reported.
Local sources said that the Israeli forces entered the village with a number of bulldozers and demolished homes and tents. The residents were displaced. One of them, Aziz Al-Touri, explained that the demolition went ahead despite the awful weather.
“It was raining and cold,” he said, “but the Israeli forces still demolished our homes.” He pointed out that this is the seventh time that Israel has destroyed their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The people of Al-Araqib affirmed their steadfastness and determination to stay on their land and rebuild their homes and tents yet again. They stressed their rejection of Israel’s plans to destroy dozens of villages in the Negev with the aim of displacing their people and seizing their land. Israel plans to build Jewish towns in their place.
Al-Araqib was demolished for the first time in 2010. Israel does not “recognise” the village, but its residents point out that they own the land and have done since the Ottoman period, decades before Israel was created in occupied Palestine. They intend to remain there despite the repeated demolitions.