+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Israel demolishes Bedouin village al-Araqib for 100th time

Al-Araqib is one of 35 ‘unrecognized’ villages in Israel that authorities refuse to provide with water, electricity or basic infrastructure.

Israeli security forces demolish structures in the ‘unrecognized’ Bedouin village of al-Araqib, Israel, June 29, 2016. (Azez Alaraqib)

Israeli security forces demolish structures in the ‘unrecognized’ Bedouin village of al-Araqib, Israel, June 29, 2016. (Azez Abu Madigem)

Israeli security forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 100th time Wednesday morning. It was the second demolition during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, taking place while residents were fasting. The first demolition in the village took place almost exactly six years ago, on July 27, 2010.

Al-Araqib is one of 35 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert in southern Israel, a definition which means Israel refuses to provide residents with connections to the national water and electricity grids, provide them with health and educational services, or any basic infrastructure.

Despite being citizens of Israel that are supposed to enjoy equal rights, the Israeli government and its agents like the Israel Land Authority and Jewish National Fund have been waging a slow and methodical war of attrition against Bedouin residents of unrecognized villages in an effort to expel them.

As a result, most of al-Araqib’s residents have indeed left over the years to neighboring towns. The tactics used by the state against these citizens is pretty much identical to that which it uses in Area C of the occupied West Bank, where Palestinian residents are deprived of basic services and their homes are repeatedly demolished.

Bedouin children watch as Israeli forces come to demolish Al Arakib in August 2010 (Photo: Mairav Zonszein)

Bedouin children watch as Israeli forces come to demolish Al Araqib in August 2010 (Photo: Mairav Zonszein)

Like countless plots of land in the Negev, al-Araqib was expropriated under the Land Appropriation Law of 1953. The law allowed the state to easily expropriate land for purposes of “development, settlement and security,” with a few ludicrous stipulations: that the land was not in its owner’s possession on April 1, 1952, and that the state use the land for purposes of development, settlement or security, or at least that it needs the land for those purposes.

In reality, the state dispossessed the village residents of their land, and has not once used it for any purpose. The only plans for al-Araqib are to plant a “forest” on its arid land.

Nearby, Israeli authorities are expelling the residents of another “unrecognized” Bedouin village, Umm el-Hiran, in order to build a Jewish town in its place.

Newsletter banner

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Ben

      Oooh but don’t call those soldiers descending on Al Araqib and Umm el-Hiran occupiers and oppressors and don’t mention The Occupation because above all, that’s not “in the consensus.” Got to be sensitive around Israelis. Like Monty Python’s Basil Fawlty (“Sshhh! Don’t mention the war!”), Israelis get discombobulated and behave strangely if you mention these things:

      Reply to Comment
    2. Average American

      Never forget that The Jews consider all of Israel already belongs to them, and the rest of Eretz Israel already belongs to them. Astoundingly supremacist. The only reason we can’t dismiss them as childish playground bullies is they have their holier-than-thou Torah-driven rabbinical finger on the trigger of an arsenal of un-inspected un-regulated nuclear weapons, that we gave them, which they will use against Anyone (including USA) who opposes The Zionist Plan. No less religiously fanatical than they claim their neighbors are. We’ve created a monster.

      Reply to Comment
      • ABL

        This article is probably true, important and worthy of being shared.
        The problem I have with +972 is that it lives for only one purpose—bashing Israel—and that extends to all the worst propaganda and half truth that exists. The result? —feeding the fire of dogmatic anti-Israel fanatics like “Average American”

        Reply to Comment
        • Bruce Gould

          Explain to us the “full truth” with regards to this article.

          Reply to Comment
        • Average American

          What did I say that was not the truth? Israel was not founded on Zionism? Zionism does not mention Eretz Israel? There are not rabbis in the government of Israel who use halacha law to decide matters? Israel did not refuse to sign the nuclear non-proliferation agreement?

          Reply to Comment
    3. Howard

      On April 25th 2015 there was published an article in this same site which proclaims “Village destroyed for the 90th time”. Oh my!
      Just one year later I read that this same village has now been destroyed for the 100th time!?
      What is going on here, is it really a village, insinuating that the homes are permanent or is this another impermanent Bedouin encampment made up of a few pieces of tin lean to’s, some corrugated steel, (always appealing to the eye) and a few tents?
      Sadly this is nothing more than some really lame propaganda that serves only to excite those with a penchant for hating Israel.

      This is not a village, and this is not an issue.

      Reply to Comment