Report from the Alternative Information Center on the ongoing destruction of Bedouin communities in the Negev. The latest village to be destroyed is El Araqib - for the ninth time. There have also been battles in Jordan between the Bedouin and the state.
This is ninth time in the past six months that the Jewish National Fund and the Israeli military have destroyed the village, and it will certainly not be the last. Israel has for decades been attempting to “urbanize” the Bedouin, taking them from their land, with a final plan of Judaizing their indigenous area.
More than 150,000 Bedouin, the indigenous inhabitants of the Negev region, live in informal shanty towns, or "unrecognized villages," in the south of Israel. They account for around 12% of the Palestinian population of the country, and yet discriminatory land and planning policies have made it virtually impossible for Bedouin to build legally where they live.[i]
The unrecognized villages do not appear on Israeli maps, there are no road signs to mark them, and their locations do not appear on the Israeli ID cards the residents carry. Residents do not have state education or health services and because the government does not recognize the villages, they are off the water and electricity grids as well.
What’s more, Israel implements forced evictions, home demolitions, and other actions to prevent the nomadic, indigenous people from continuing their historical way of life.
The Israel Land Authority and particularly the Jewish National Fund are at the heart of the demolitions. The ILA is the branch of the Israel government responsible for managing the 93% of the land in Israel which the country considers public domain, though much of the land is actually unrecognized Arab villages and land. more