Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More Destruction of Bedouins Houses in Neguev.

(c) Anne Paq/
Pics taken in 2005, in what is called an "unrocognized village" in the Neguev, a village where Bedouins live and pay their taxes to the Israeli government but they are not recognized by the State and they are denied basic services. They have to organize themselves and pay for the water and electricity.

Israel demolishes 21 Bedouin Arab homes in the Israeli Negev desert
Date: 10 / 01 / 2007 Time: 10:29
تكبير الخط تصغير الخط
An Israeli bulldozer destroys a Negev home
(MaanImages Archive photo)
Ma'an - On Tuesday, 9 January, large forces from the Israeli Land Authority and Ministry of Interior destroyed 21 houses in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Twayyil Abu Jarwal, situated near the city of Beer Sheva in the Negev desert in southern Israel, according to information from the Forum for Coexistence in the Negev (Dukium), a joint Jewish-Arab initiative struggling for civil equality.

In addition, the Regional Council for Unrecognized Negev Arab Villages (RCUV) reported that during the past several months, houses were destroyed in this village on 4 different occasions. On 6 December, 17 houses belonging to the Al Talalka family were destroyed.

This demolition campaign was launched after the Israeli minister of interior, Roni Bar-On, announced in the Israeli Knesset that all the unlicensed houses in the Negev Bedouin community, numbering some 42,000, would be destroyed. All these houses are in villages "unrecognized" by the State Israel, and therefore, it is impossible for building permits to be obtained in these villages.

In conversation with Ma'an News Agency after this demolition, the council's regional head of the "unrecognized villages", Hussein Rafay'ah, accused the Israeli government of, "continuing its racist campaign against the Arabs in Israel". Rafay'ah told the Ma'an reporter that the Israeli government has, "threatened to demolish 45 villages resided in by 90,000 Arabs after seizing 98 percent of the lands of these villages." Rafay'ah also said that the residents of the demolished buildings will rebuild their homes.

According to the Arab Association for Human Rights, there are over 100 Palestinian Arab villages in Israel that the government does not recognise officially. Over 70,000 Palestinian Arab citizens live in villages that are threatened with destruction, prevented from development and are not shown on any map.

As the Regional Council for Unrecognized Negev Arab Villages (RCUV) pointed out in a letter sent to foreign diplomats highlighting their plight, "Although most of the 45 unrecognized villages existed before the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Government of Israel has refused to recognize them. Thus, these villages were left without services like paved roads, water, electricity, kindergartens, high schools, and medical care. This situation has made the people in these villages the poorest and the most underprivileged in Israel. Worse is the recent attempt of the Israeli government to destroy these villages by issuing home demolition orders and demolishing homes."

The inhabitants of these villages who attempt to repair existing homes or build new ones are thus considered as lawbreakers by Israel.

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