NAQAB, August 1, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli police backed by heavy machinery Tuesday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Naqab region, in southern Israel, for the 116th time since 2010.
Witnesses said staff from the so-called Israel Land Authority accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers broke into the village and demolished the homes, mainly made of tin, which residents build every time their village is demolished.
The first demolition of al-Araqib took place in late June 2010.
Al-Araqib is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli government.
Demolitions targeting Palestinians with Israeli citizenship sharply increased in 2017. An Israeli police raid to evacuate the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran turned deadly in January, and sparked widespread protests of the treatment of Palestinian citizens in Israel.
Right groups say that the demolition of unrecognized Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.
The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Israeli authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.