+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

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

This Bedouin village has been demolished by Israel 120 times

For the past seven years, Israeli authorities have repeatedly demolished Al-Araqib in order to expel its residents and build a forest in its place.

By +972 Magazine Staff

The remains of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which was destroyed by Israeli authorities for the 120th time, October 25, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

The remains of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which was destroyed by Israeli authorities for the 120th time, October 25, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

The Bedouin village of Al-Araqib was demolished by Israeli authorities for the 120th time last week.

Al-Araqib is one of 35 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev desert in southern Israel, 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. Over the years, the village has become a symbol of the struggle against dispossession of Bedouin from their land, and for state recognition of Bedouin villages in the Negev.

Despite being citizens of Israel that are supposed to enjoy equal rights, the Israeli government, the Israel Land Authority, and the Jewish National Fund have been waging a slow and methodical war of attrition against Bedouin residents of Al-Araqib in an effort to expel them and plant a forest atop their land.

A bulldozer of the Israeli Land Administration tears down a house during the third demolition of Al-Araqib in August 2010. (Activestills.org)

A bulldozer of the Israeli Land Administration tears down a house during the third demolition of Al-Araqib in August 2010. (Activestills.org)

As a result, most of the village’s residents have indeed left over the years to neighboring towns. The tactics used by the state against these citizens is similar to that which it uses in Area C of the occupied West Bank — in villages such as Susya and Khan al-Ahmar — where Palestinian residents are deprived of basic services and their homes are repeatedly demolished.

The Israel Land Authority claims the Bedouin are trespassing on state land, but the issue is still being fought in court proceedings over land ownership. While the residents do not have official land deeds, they do have documents from the Ottoman era showing their ancestors purchased the land in 1906. The state insists the land was expropriated in 1954, after the vast majority of the area’s Bedouin residents were expelled during the 1948 war, rendering the court findings regarding ownership irrelevant.

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
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter