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16 Palestinian children made homeless today

2 more home demolitions in the Negev
by Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for Unrecognized Negev Arab Villages

Demolished home in Negev, Photo by RCUV

Today, Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 8:00am hundreds of police people, accompanied by a chopper and two bulldozers, came the village of Tarabin al-Sanaa, located by the affluent Jewish town of Omer in the Israeli Negev. They demolished two homes. 16 children are homeless today, one two months old, another nine months. When I asked their father where they will stay tonight, he said – “I will build a tent, what can I do?”

When they entered the home, the 17-year-old son was still asleep. Thirty policemen pounced on him. He responded with fright and fought back. So they arrested him. Three other youngsters were arrested today.

Tarabin al-Sana is not new to these police invasions. Omer, their neighbor, has wanted them relocated so that they would not have to deal with poor neighbors, and because the real estate value of the land, if cleaned of Bedouins and added to Omer would be very high. Badash, the mayor of the town has been trying to make this happen for many years now. He has managed to enlarge the municipality’s area to include the village, of course with no intention of giving them the municipal services of trash removal, school, and the use of Omer’s medical facility. Then he convinced the authorities to allocate a new area for the village. The government did this, but still continued with their warped way of dealing with the Bedouin community. They choose a leader of sorts, “bought” him, and he had to convince the rest of the community to relocate. It worked only so far. Half he managed to convince to sign and relocate. The other half requested to see the contract he signed with the government. Until today the government is refusing to allow the people of the village to see this contract. The government is also refusing to negotiate with the elected leader of the village (in open democratic elections the village people initiated, and requested human rights lawyers to oversee).

Now the government is doing what the government seems to do all to often when they find themselves in a bind: demolish Bedouin homes.

For more information, contact:

The Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev