Clashes broke out on Wednesday between residents of an unrecognized Bedouin village and Israel Land Administration workers, who arrived to stop Bedouin who were trying to rebuild the village.
Al-Arakib, which is located north of Be’er Sheva, was razed by authorities last week after it was deemed illegal; several tents have been erected since then in an effort to rebuild the village.
The Bedouin villagers claim that the police acted violently during the clashes. A number of injuries have been reported, among them MK Talab El-Sana, who apparently fainted while entrenching himself in one of the tents constructed to protest the village’s demolition. He was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva for treatment.
Iman Udah of the Hadash party was also injured and then arrested by police at the scene of the clashes.
The committee of al-Arakib said on Wednesday that “all attempts to uproot the residents of the village will fail in the end.”
“The attempt to uproot Bedouin citizens from their settlements constitutes a serious insult to all Bedouin,” the committee said, adding that it deepens the crisis of distrust between the state and its Bedouin citizens.
The village of al-Arakib was destroyed last week after government officials determined it was built illegally on state land. Israel Police forces destroyed about 35 buildings, said residents. Confrontations broke out between the police and residents, and in the end one woman was arrested and six people were detained. Over 1,500 police came to guard the demolition.
The ILA said the evacuation was conducted after many years of legal – and physical – battles against the Aturi tribe. The ILA said the Bedouin invaded the area, which is state land, in 1998 and in 2000 a court order was handed down banning them from entering the area. But the tribe moved in and planted trees. The ILA offered to rent them the land at a price of NIS 2 per dunam, but they refused to pay. The ILA received a court order to evacuate the residents in 2003 and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court.
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee said after the village was razed that it would rebuild the destroyed homes. In an emergency meeting, the committee also decided to establish a fund to help the families, as well as asking the UN and international human rights organizations to look into the matter.
Ynet Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Bedouin village razed again; MK forcefully removed
Land Administration workers demolish structures that had been rebuilt in al-Arakib after last week’s razing. MK El-Sana barricades himself in one of the structures
Israel Land Administration workers on Wednesday razed the Bedouin village of al-Arakib near Rahat. The village, which is not recognized by the state, was demolished last week, but since then 10 new structures were erected there.
Large police forces secured the Land Administration workers.
Knesset Member Talab El-Sana (United Arab List-Ta’al) arrived at the scene and barricaded himself in one of the homes. He was forcefully removed by police officers.
At some point El-Sana lost consciousness and was evacuated to Beersheba’s Soroko Medical Center.
The demolition works were met with only mild resistance from the residents themselves. However, police arrested six individuals, five of whom were considered serial invaders. The sixth’s detainee is suspected of assaulting police officers.
Last week some 1,300 police officers equipped with clubs, helmets and crowd-dispersal gear entered al-Arakib at dawn to secure Land Administration workers who demolished 45 structures at the site. The residents, backed by left-wing activists, lit large bonfires. A woman was arrested and a number of Bedouins were taken in for questioning.
Al-Arakib spokesman and local resident Dr. Awad Abu-Farikh said following last week’s razing: “Today we got a close glimpse of the government’s true face. We were stunned to witness the violent force being used.
“The black-clad special unit forces are the true face of (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman’s democracy. This operation is the first step in the uprooting of many villages. We shall return to our villages, build our homes and not leave this place,” he said.