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Israel destroys 1,000 homes in Negev per year: Pro-settlement NGO

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A general view taken on on November 24, 2013, shows the Umm al-Hiran village, which is not recognized by Israel, near the southern city of Beersheba in the Negev desert. (AFP)

An Israeli NGO behind settlement construction in Palestinian lands says that every year the regime demolishes 1,000 homes in the Negev desert, home to Bedouin nomadic tribes for the past 1,000 years.

Some 220,000 people currently live in the region, Amichai Yogev, the southern region director of pro-settlement NGO Regavim, said in an interview with the Jewish Voice on Wednesday.

Bedouin children walk home from school in Shaqib al-Salam in the Negev desert on February 10, 2015. (AFP)

The group is demolishing homes in the region in cooperation with Israel's interior ministry, Israel Land Agency, and the Jewish National Fund.

Yogev claimed that the Palestinian residents of the Negev build 2,000 to 3,000 homes a year in the "unrecognized" villages, which hold some 70,000 homes along with the "recognized" ones.

In response to a question regarding what makes the villages classified as “unrecognized", Yogev said that all the ones located in the Beersheba-Arad-Yeruham triangle are "illegal”.

According to the indigenous people of the Negev desert, Regavim is a racist NGO, whose inspectors are mostly extremist settlers living in the settlements nearby.

The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

Violation of international law

The illegal constructions are not the only crimes Tel Aviv commits. The regime also launches offensives against Palestinian every now and then, including one last summer against the Gaza Strip that left over 2,200 people dead.

On Monday, a UN Human Rights Council’s report detailed war crimes during the Israeli aggression, calling for those responsible to be “brought to justice”.

Palestinian children play next to the remains of their house in Gaza City on June 22, 2015. (AFP)

On the heels of the report, Palestinian officials are finally managing to hand over the details of Israel's crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

A file containing hundreds of pages about Tel Aviv’s atrocities is expected to be given to the ICC by the Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, on Thursday.

Last week, Palestinian official Ammar Hijazi said the file details violations of international law by Tel Aviv and “draws a grim picture of what Israel is doing and why we think that there are reasonable grounds… for the prosecutor to start investigations.”

An order for a preliminary examination and then a full criminal investigation could be issued by ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda following the Palestinian complaint.


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