Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of Al-Araqib for 219th time
The destruction of the village has left its Palestinian residents vulnerable to scorching temperatures as a heatwave hits the region.
The village, which is located in the Negev (Naqab) desert in southern Israel, lacks basic infrastructure and necessities such as water and electricity, while most homes are built from tin, plastic and other unstable materials.
The village sheikh, Sayyah al-Turi, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: "They arrived at 11:00 am. The criminal forces and their criminal workers entered and demolished all Al-Araqib buildings on this hot day."
"We are now sitting under trees in the cemetery. The temperature in the Negev today is more than 45 degrees. This is a criminal government policy," he added.
The Bedouin village has been subject to multiple destructions, eviction and displacement policies since 2010, and has been destroyed over 200 times.
Israeli authorities claim that Al-Araqib was built without a construction permit, thus "illegal", and have even gone as far as issuing eviction notices to deceased people buried in the Ottoman-era village’s cemetery, according to The Independent.
Israel also claims that the Bedouin village is on "state land".
Its Bedouin residents have continuously attempted to rebuild the village after each destruction, in defiance of Israeli policies to raze Al-Araqib and uproot its inhabitants altogether.
Al-Turi urged Israeli courts to recognise the villagers' ownership of the land, and for Israel to stop attempts to seize their land.
He also called on all "Arab, Islamic and Jewish associations" to extend a helping hand to the village, which is home to approximately 80 people.
"We are sleeping alive in the cemetery. Under a government that claims democracy, the living takes refuge with the dead," al-Turi further stressed.
Palestinian Bedouins are routinely burdened with discriminatory and violent policies. Israeli authorities often expel Bedouin families from their homes in the Negev and occupied West Bank, with violence against the population not unknown.
In June this year, dozens of Bedouin families were forcibly moved out of their camp in Ein Samiya in the West Bank's Area C due to increased Israeli settler violence, forcing them to relocate elsewhere.