The Israeli occupation demolished on Wednesday historic Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev for the 111th time since July 2010.
Al-Araqeeb is unrecognised by the Israeli occupation authorities although it existed before the Israeli occupation began in 1948.
Like other villages, Israel demolishes it under the pretext of a lack of building licenses and building on “state-owned land.”
The village chief, Abu Sayyah Al-Araqib, said: “A large number of the Israeli police forces and demolition units raided the village in the afternoon and started to demolish the tents and camps where the villagers are living.”
He noted that the villagers have been living in tents since after Israel demolished their cement houses for the first time in 2010. He expressed his anger over the displacement of the villagers despite the cold weather.
Abu-Sayyah stressed that the villagers would rebuild their village again and again. He reiterated that “the fall of Al-Araqeeb would be the fall for all Arabs in the Negev.”
Al-Araqeeb is one of 51 Arab villages in the Negev the Israeli occupation authorities do not recognise and has been targeted for demolition ahead of building homes for new Jewish communities.
Israel has imposed fines on the villagers of Al-Araqeeb worth millions of dollars and charges them for the use of the Israeli bulldozers which carry out the demolition of their homes.
Israeli courts decide that the owners of the unlicensed homes must demolish them, but when they fail to do so, Israeli bulldozers carry out the demolitions and the owners are ordered to pay for the bulldozers.
In 1969, Israel called on Arab land owners to register their land with the authorities, but since then they have not accepted any of the applications made by Arab residents of the Negev.
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