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«Israel» Destroys Palestinian Bedouin Village for the 119th Time

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Residents of the Palestinian al-Araqib village said that "Israeli" armed forces and riot police stormed into the village with bulldozers at 7:15am on Tuesday, razing its remaining buildings to the ground.

Palestinian Bedouin woman

"They stormed in and destroyed everything, every single building, every single home," village leader Siyah al-Touri said.

The village, home to around 220 people, was first demolished on July 27, 2010. Since then, displaced residents had sought help from local activists to rebuild.

"We're now living in makeshift homes, thanks to the ‘state's' racist and criminal policies," al-Touri said.

"They want to forcibly move us and do not comprehend that we are citizens of the state. They don't recognize us, and if they did, they would have granted us our rights."

"Israeli" authorities regularly carry out demolition orders in the Negev, arguing that these villages lack building permits, but residents say it is impossible to obtain a permit to build legally. Al-Araqib is one of some 40 "unrecognized" Bedouin villages in southern "Israel" that are under existential threat.

"No matter what, we will remain on our ancestors' lands," al-Touri said. "Our cemetery has been here since 1914, and we have six water wells that we aren't even allowed to drink from."

The last time al-Araqib underwent a demolition order was on September 14. Demolition orders against the village are executed on a monthly basis.

An estimated 200,000 Bedouins live in the "Israeli" entity, centered mainly in the country's southern region. They are often denied state services, including water, electricity and educational facilities.

The entity plans to relocate the residents of unrecognized villages to planned townships. The process of replacing Bedouin villages with Jewish-only towns is under way, with villages such as Umm al-Hiran being slated for demolition.

A recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] showed that "Israeli" authorities had demolished or seized over 1,080 Palestinian-owned structures since the start of the last year up until December 28. According to the report released on December 29, 2016, the demolitions had left some 1,593 Palestinians homeless and affected the lives of another 7,101.

The UN also noted that the "vast majority" of the Palestinian structures are destroyed or seized because the "Israeli" policies made it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits.

"Israeli" demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures had raised alarm among diplomats and human rights groups over what they regard as the apartheid Tel Aviv regime's continued violation of international law.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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