FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bedouin village of Al Araqib demolished for the third time
10 August 2010
Al Araqib, NEGEV
The Bedouin village of Al Araqib in Southern Israel was destroyed for the third time in two weeks this morning, Tuesday August 10th, by Israeli civil administration forces.
At approximately 5.45 this morning around 50 Israeli police and 15 border police arrived in jeeps to guard 3 caterpillar bulldozers who razed the Palestinian Bedouin village near Beersheva, Negev to the ground in just over one hour.
Six or seven makeshift houses which had been rebuilt by the families (following the two previous demolitions on July 27th and August 4th) were bulldozed, leaving the families, including women and children, homeless again on the eve of Ramadan.
Two ISM activists and about 20 Israeli activists witnessed the demolitions, having arrived at 3 in the morning. Villagers had called for support, after they began to suspect the impending return of the bulldozers, following the arrival of Israeli officials the day before who surveyed the rebuilt structures and seemed to be taking count.
One man, helped by Israeli and international activists, can be seen in the video below trying to dismantle his own house before the bulldozers got to it – in order to save the materials from destruction – but was prevented from doing so by Israeli police.
Police were aggressive and violent to both the Bedouin and the demonstrators. They arrested one Israeli activist, Gadi Algazi, for participating in nonviolent resistance to the demolitions. They also stole the water tank, which – combined with the fact that fasting will take place during Ramadan, will make re-establishing the village even harder.
Despite this, the families, helped by activists, began to rebuild shelters for themselves with what materials they could salvage, as soon as Israeli forces departed. The state of Israel calls the village ‘unrecognized’ and says the houses were illegal.
ISM Media office: 054-618-0056
Aida, ISM activist witness: 059-738-2292
PHOTOS: International Solidarity Movement