World Bulletin/News Desk
Israeli forces on Monday razed the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in Negev Desert for the 78th time on the pretext that it had been built illegally, eyewitness said.
"Dozens of Israeli forces backed by five bulldozers stormed the village at dawn today and began demolishing homes and other structures," a local resident who asked to remain anonymous told Anadolu Agency.
"The soldiers were heavily armed. They drove us out under the rain before they demolished our homes for 78th time in four years,” he added.
The village was demolished for the first time in July 2010, before being rebuilt with metal and wood.
The Israeli government classifies approximately 40 villages in the Negev Desert as "unrecognized," arguing that the roughly 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there cannot prove their ownership of the land.
Dozens of Palestinians, all of whom bear Israeli citizenship, live in Al-Araqib. They say that they have owned the land since before Israel came into being in 1948.
Mohamed Abu Fireh, one of Al-Araqib villagers whose houses were demolished, told Anadolu Agency that he will rebuild his house immediately.
“I have seven members in the family. I will rebuild my house immediately or they will die from cold," Abu Fireh said.
"They can’t remove us from our land. This is our land for hundreds of years," he added, "and it will be our sons' land as well."
Claiming that most lands in the Negev Desert is "state property," the self-proclaimed Jewish state has repeatedly demolished Bedouin homes in the area.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Kasım 2014, 13:42