Yesterday, Monday 20 December, Israeli occupation authorities again demolished the Palestinian village of al-Araqib. Located in the Negev desert and first occupied in 1948, al-Araqib has been demolished 196 times since the year 2000. Despite the season’s rain and cold, its people have again been displaced.
In press statements, activist Salim al-Araqib has said that bulldozers stormed the village this morning and forcibly removed the village’s residents. This followed clashes with the police of the Negev Development Authority (NDA), after residents refused to leave their homes during a storm. Their houses were then demolished.
Salim al-Araqib said that the people of al-Araqib will again rebuild their village, and remain steadfast on their land.
Residents’ tents were last demolished on 24 November.
This is the 18th time that Israeli authorities have demolished al-Araqib residents’ tents since the beginning of 2021. After demolishment, residents rebuild their homes using wood and plastics, which protects them both from the summer heat and winter cold. In this way, they defend against attempts to uproot them from their lands.
Israeli authorities first demolished the village in July 2010. Since then, it has been demolished every time residents rebuild it.
The Israeli occupation government refuses to recognise the village of al-Araqib. Its residents insist on staying on their land despite the repeated demolition of their homes.
The village of al-Araqib was established during the Ottoman period, on land purchased by the residents.
The Israeli occupation authorities are actively working to expel the residents of the village in order to control their lands, as they have done with numerous villages in the Negev region. Many such villages are not recognised or provided with any services.