Israeli occupation authorities demolished on Thursday morning the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in Al-Naqab desert in southern Israel for the 121st time, leaving all the families in the village homeless.
Residents of the al-Araqib have rebuilt the village 120 times after each demolition, the latest of which was October 25.
An Israeli court ruled in August that six residents of al-Araqib must pay NIS262,000 ($72,000) for previous demolition costs, in addition to NIS100,000 shekels ($27,693) to cover the costs of the state’s lawyer.
According to al-Araqib residents, before the latest court ruling, the village was ordered to pay more than two million shekels ($541,000) for the cumulative cost of Israeli-enforced demolitions carried out against the village since 2010.
The village is one of 35 Bedouin villages classified “unrecognised” by Israel. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouins in Al-Naqab live in unrecognised villages.
Unrecognised Bedouin villages were established in Al-Naqab soon after the 1948 Israeli occupation of most of Palestine.
Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel's military occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.
Now more than 60 years later, the villages have yet to be recognised by Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.
Right groups say that the demolition of unrecognised Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from Al-Naqab and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.