Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fascist Israel Razes Second Beduin Village within a Week - Demolishing Al Araqib Village

Israel Also demolished the village of Al Farisyie on July 20, 2010, leaving 107 persons displaced

Israel Demolishes 40 Bedouin Homes in Negev:

Israel demolished 40 homes today (27 July) in the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of el Araqib. At 4:30 a.m., 1500 police officers carrying firearms and stun grenades, followed by a special patrol unit, helicopter, mounted horsemen and bulldozers, entered el Araqib and began demolishing everything in the village.

"Over 300 Bedouins, mainly children, were forcefully removed from their village as they watched the Israeli police destroy their homes and property. Yoav, a student activist from Tel Aviv University, joined approximately 30 additional activists in a solidarity visit to resist the demolition. He states, “It was a big shock for all us because no one expected anything so big; it was quite scary.”

Only last week Dr. Awad Abu Freih, spokesman for the el Araqib Popular Committee, wrote that 'of late someone is pushing for a violent resolution of the many years of conflict between the Bedouins in the Negev and the State.' This morning, his prediction come true, Dr. Abu Freih expressed the utter shock of el Araqib's residents. Soon after the police arrived, the villagers and activists in the area began a non-violent protest that provoked a violent response from the police.

The historical Bedouin village located between Rahat and Beer Sheva has been targeted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), which aims to create a 'Negev Forest' in its place. The JNF has been working to evacuate the Bedouins from their lands by planting forests so that the Bedouins can neither live in the area, nor use the land for agricultural production. Ironically, the JNF claims that they help the Bedouins through their Blueprint Negev Plan: “The work of JNF benefits all Israelis. Blueprint Negev looks to bring real change to the lives of the residents of the Negev, including the 160,000 Bedouin, most of whom suffer from high unemployment and low levels of education.”

The el Araqib residents brought their case to the Beer Sheva District Court and are still awaiting a decision on the ownership of the land. However, the Israeli state proceeded to demolish homes shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly announced that the Bedouins are a “real threat” to Israel. Netanyahu warned yesterday of a situation in which 'various elements will demand nationality and rights within Israel, in the Negev for example, if a region is created without a Jewish majority. This occurred in the Balkans and this is a real threat.' In other words, he is worried that he will not be able to create a Jewish majority in the Negev.

The Bedouins are aware of the aim of the government, and Dr. Abu Freih commented that “I don’t believe the government will listen to us because they want to take our lands. I am not sure that Netanyahu will help me.”

However, the el Araqib residents have not lost hope: they are determined to rebuild their homes.

Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the Bedouins have struggled to keep their homes and property in the Negev. Between 1948 and 1966, the Israeli government deemed 85% of the Negev as state-owned land. This meant that the Bedouin property became 'illegal' and unrecognized by the Israeli government. Consequently, the government forced many Bedouin tribes to move into a small designated area of land called the Siyag Triangle (land between the three cities of Beer Sheva, Arad, and Dimona). Additionally, in 1951, the government pushed many of the Bedouins further into the desert and into Jordan. Currently, about half the Bedouins have moved to failing Negev towns, while the other half remain in 45 'unrecognized' villages. The unrecognized villages do not receive any municipal services, including sanitation services, connection to electricity, and access to the main water lines.

Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com:

"Added On July 27, 2010

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports on Israel's controversial practice of demolishing Bedouin homes in the Negev Desert.

Update: July 28, 2010
Israel demolishes a Bedouin village in the Negev Desert - no comment:

nocommenttv | July 28, 2010
Israeli authorities in the country's southern Negev desert on Tuesday demolished a Bedouin village built on land residents identify as their property....
No Comment | euronews: watch the international news without commentary | http://www.euronews.net/nocomment/

Bedouin village razed in Negev as Israelis cheer on

Source: Electronic Intifada

Early morning on 27 July, Israeli bulldozers, flanked by helicopters and throngs of police, demolished the entire Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the northern Negev desert. Despite their land rights cases still pending in the court system, hundreds of al-Araqib villagers were instantly made homeless a month after Israeli police posted demolition orders.

Eyewitness reports say the police were accompanied by several busloads of right-wing Israeli civilians who cheered during the demolitions.

The Electronic Intifada spoke with Dr. Yeela Ranaan of the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages (RCUV) in the Negev, who was in al-Araqib all day long during the demolitions. (Read More)

Update July 29, 2010
Ethnic cleansing in the Israeli Negev | World news | guardian.co.uk

"Around 300 Bedouins living in Israel's Negev desert are homeless after police raided their village and razed their homes
Fil Kaler and Mustafa Khalili
Wednesday 28 July 2010"

update July 29, 2010

ChoiceJJ | July 29, 2010
Al-Jazeera 100626

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