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Refusing to be relocatedThe Bedouin village of Al Araqib has steadfastly refused to be relocated. Since 2010, Israeli forces have razed homes and uprooted olive groves here 57 times, claiming that residents are illegal trespassers, according to long-standing land disputes. The village’s only surviving structure is a century-old Islamic cemetery.
Hakmeh Abu Medeighim lives in a shoddy wooden tent next door. She and a handful of other families have refused to leave their ancestral lands, strewn with rubble from their homes that were razed, rebuilt, and razed again. Though pine trees stand where their olive trees once were, they pledge that they will die in this harsh desert “even if mourners will have no water for the ritual prayer,” says Al Araqib’s elder, Sheikh Sayyah al-Turi.
He has been waging a losing battle in municipal courts to prove land ownership, using pre-1948 land deeds – rejected by Israel – as his only legal documents.
He didn’t always have to fight, but growing racism in the government has eroded respect for the Bedouin community, allowing things like the Prawar plan to come about...
|Ground which has been prepared for the construction of new homes is seen in front of the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom, near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, August 25. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters|
By Correspondent / September 17, 2013 ,
Al Araqib, Israel
But they feel betrayed now by the latest Israeli government project, a $5.6 billion initiative called the Begin-Prawar plan that will free up space for Israeli development of the Negev by relocating Bedouins in the area if it is approved by the Knesset after it returns from recess next month.
The Israeli government has slated for eviction 40,000 Bedouins in “unrecognized” villages throughout the southern Negev...READ MORE