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Published on Feb 16, 2011
On February 10, 2011, police and black-clad special units forces arrived to the Bedouin village Al-Arakib, 15 km north of Beer Sheva, Israel, to demolish their homes and expel them from their land for the 16th time. The inhabitants of Al-Arakib were dispossessed in the early 1950s and since then they have demanded to return to their ancestral land and recognition of their rights to the land at the site where the village had existed before the establishment of the state of Israel. Various means have been used during the past 10 years to break their resistance: their fields were sprayed with pesticides from the air and they themselves suffered health damages; their cultivated fields were deep-plowed to destroy the crops, and since July 2010, their homes were demolished time after time. The demolitions were accompanied by massive violence against the inhabitants and hundred of fruit trees were uprooted. The KKL-JNF, the Jewish National Fund is preparing the ground for planting trees in order to take possession of the land and prevent its future cultivation by the Bedouins. Since January 2011 the JNF and the Israel Land Administration escalated the oppressive measures: the homes are demolished several times a week, heavy violence is used against the inhabitants and social activists who have joined them, and in front of the very eyes of the people of Al-Arakib, their village is erased and the land is leveled by bulldozers to prepare the ground for forestation. On February 10, police forces arrived again to the village. The inhabitants of Al-Arakib and activists tried to resist nonviolently and hold on in the face of dispossession.
For further details: Hithabrut-Tarabut, Arab-Jewish Movement for Social and Political Change, www.tarabut.info Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, www.dukium.org