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Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Further information: Bedouin village demolished

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 15/028/2010

On 22 November, Israeli authorities demolished approximately 30 structures in the Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib in the Negev in southern Israel for the seventh time since July. The residents – citizens of Israel with a long-established claim to the area – are trying to rebuild their homes yet again but face increasing hardship as winter approaches.

Further information on UA: 236/10 Index: MDE 15/028/2010 Israel Date: 24 November 2010
URGENT ACTION
BEDOUIN VILLAGE DEMOLISHED
On 22 November, Israeli authorities demolished approximately 30 structures in the Bedouin
village of al-‘Araqib in the Negev in southern Israel for the seventh time since July. The residents
citizens of Israel with a long-established claim to the area are trying to rebuild their homes
yet again but face increasing hardship as winter approaches.
At around 7am, Israel Lands Administration officials with bulldozers, accompanied by dozens of police officers
equipped with riot gear, arrived at al-Araqib village and quickly destroyed the shacks, tents and other structures that
villagers had managed to erect following the previous demolition on 13 October. As in previous demolitions, no
eviction or demolition order was presented to the inhabitants.
Some 30 structures were destroyed, including tents and shacks where the residents slept and cooked, and makeshift
toilets and chicken pens. In addition, approximately 1,600 olive trees located some 2km from the village and
belonging to relatives of al-‘Araqib residents were uprooted by the Israeli authorities. The villagers have already
started rebuilding some of the tents and shacks so that they have some protection, as the Negev desert gets very
cold at night during the winter months.
This is the seventh time that al-‘Araqib, one of the more than 40 “unrecognized” villages in Israel whose residents
lack security of tenure and government services, has been destroyed since July. Some of al-‘Araqib’s 250 residents
are camping out in makeshift shacks and tents in the village cemetery, while others are temporarily staying with
relatives in the nearby town of Rahat or in Kafr Qassem, near Tel Aviv. However, at least 50 people, including at
least 30 children, decided to rebuild their homes in the village in order to remain on their land, and are living in the
remains of structures that were demolished.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Hebrew, English or your own language:
Condemning the latest destruction of al-‘Araqib and urging the Israeli authorities to allow the villagers to rebuild
their homes;
Urging the Israeli authorities to respect the Bedouin population’s right to their ancestral land by ending the
policy of home demolitions in al-Araqib and other “unrecognized” villages in Israel, and to take steps to officially
recognize al-‘Araqib and other “unrecognized” villages so as to allow residents security of tenure and the possibility
of developing their villages without threat to their homes and livelihoods;
Urging the Israeli authorities to take immediate steps in line with the UN Human Rights Committee’s
recommendations of July 2010 to guarantee access to health structures, education, water and electricity for
residents of these villages.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 05 JANUARY 2011 TO:
Director-General of the Israel Lands
Administration
Yaron Bibi
Israel Lands Administration
6 Shamai Street
P.O. Box 2600
Jerusalem 94631, Israel
Fax: +972 2 620 8427
Email: natalil@mmi.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Director-General
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
the Interior
Eliyahu Yishai
2 Kaplan Street
PO Box 6158
Kiryat Ben Gurion
Jerusalem 91061, Israel
Fax: +972 2 666 2909
Email: sar@moin.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister
And copies to:
Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan Street
Kiryat Ben-Gurion , Hakirya
PO Box 187, Jerusalem, Israel
Fax: + 972 2 566 4838
Email: pm_eng@pmo.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date. This is the first update of UA 236/10. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/027/2010/en
Date: 24 November 2010
URGENT ACTION
BEDOUIN VILLAGE DEMOLISHED
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
On 27 July, at least 46 homes and other structures in al-‘Araqib, including animal pens and water tanks, were destroyed by
officials of the Israel Lands Administration accompanied by over 1,000 police officers. The entire village was razed by bulldozers,
and thousands of olive and other trees were uprooted, destroying the villagers’ livelihood. Possessions including electricity
generators, refrigerators and vehicles were confiscated by the police. On 4 and 10 August, makeshift shelters that the villagers
had built were demolished and buried by bulldozers, supported by a large police force in riot gear equipped with a water cannon.
Building materials and water tanks were seized; seven residents were arrested but later released, four on condition that they not
enter al-‘Araqib. Then on 17 August, the authorities recommenced demolitions at dawn during Ramadan, while the villagers were
fasting. On 12 September at dawn, dozens of police arrived again at al-‘Araqib with bulldozers and destroyed newly erected tents
and other structures. The sixth and latest demolition was on 13 October, when the entire village was razed to the ground, and the
director of the Negev Coexistence Forum, a group supporting the villagers, was arrested by police and banned from entering al-
‘Araqib for 10 days.
In its concluding observations in July 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee stated its concern about allegations of forced
evictions of the Bedouin population based on the Public Land Law (Expulsion of Invaders) of 1981 as amended in 2005 and
about what it described as the Israeli authorities inadequate consideration of the agricultural and other traditional needs of the
Bedouin population of the Negev and the difficulties that the Bedouin face in accessing health structures, education, water and
electricity due to Israeli policies. The Committee called for the Israeli authorities to respect the Bedouin populations right to
their ancestral land and their traditional livelihood based on agriculture and to guarantee the Bedouin population's access to
health structures, education, water and electricity, irrespective of their whereabouts in Israel. The UN Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination has also expressed concern about Israels relocation of Bedouin residents of unrecognized
villages to towns and called for their villages to be officially recognized, and for Israel to enhance its efforts to consult the
villagers and seek their agreement or consent in advance of any process of relocation.
Despite an apparent governmental plan to regularize the status of some of the unrecognized villages, it was reported in the
Israeli media in early 2010 that the Interior Ministry, the Israel Lands Administration and the police had decided to triple the
demolition rate of Bedouin construction in the Negev, and the marked increase in the number of demolitions and demolition
orders this year accords with such reports.
Further information on UA: 236/10 Index: MDE 15/028/2010 Date: 24 November 2010

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