Israeli bulldozers Wednesday morning demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 109th time.
Israeli forces raided the bedouin village early Wednesday, surrounding the residents’ makeshift tents, and proceeded to raze them to ground.
Israeli forces also demanded that the residents pay 2 million shekels (approximately $532,750) for the cumulative cost of Israeli-enforced demolitions carried out against the village since the first time it was destroyed in 2010.
Palestinians who have built without Israeli-issued building permits, both inside and Israel and in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have the choice of self-demolishing the unauthorized structures or paying hefty fines that cover the costs of Israeli forces demolishing the structures.
Member of the local committee Aziz Sayyah told Ma’an that they “demolished the village without considering the weather and the impact this will have on residents now made homeless.” The weather in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory remains cold, particularly during night hours.
“No matter how many times they demolish and destroy our village, they will not break our spirits,” Sayyah added. “Al-Araqib is ours and we are here to stay.”
Al-Araqib is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli state. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.