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Israel demolishes Palestinian al-Araqib Bedouin village in Negev for 215th time

This file photo shows Israeli forces destroying tents and structures belonging to Palestinian residents of al-Araqib village in the southern Negev region. (Photo by the Palestinian Information Center).

The Israeli authorities have demolished tents and structures in the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 215th time, making dozens of its residents displaced and homeless.

Palestinian media reports quoting local sources reported that Israeli troops raided the village on Monday morning with bulldozers and destroyed every single Palestinian shelter and tent.

The village, which is home to at least 22 families made up of 110 men, women and children, was first demolished in 2010, but has since been rebuilt multiple times by its residents and activists. Its residents are engaged in raising livestock and farming.

An estimated 240,000 Bedouin Palestinians live in several Negev communities. Al-Araqib is one of several dozen Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by Israel. These villages are denied basic humanitarian services such as electricity and water networks, roads, schools, and health centers.

The residents across the Negev region live in a constant state of fear due to the fact that Israeli troops may raid and raze their homes at any moment after they build them again.

However, Israel's systematic criminal policy of forced displacement of Palestinians has strengthened the residents’ resolve, who say they will rebuild their villages even if the regime demolishes them a thousand times. 

The demolition of Bedouin homes is part of the regime’s massive land grab and settlement expansion policy, which will forcefully displace thousands of people.

Israeli authorities have been carrying out the policy of forced evacuations against Bedouins since 1949.

Rights groups accuse Tel Aviv of pursuing a policy of transferring the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev region to other areas in a bid to make room for the expansion of illegal settlements.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

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