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Middle East
Israel razes Negev village again
Witness talks of "unnecessary force" in demolition of Bedouin homes.
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2010 14:17 GMT
Al-Arakib is one of 45 Bedouin villages not recognised by Israeli authorities [Joseph Dana]

Israeli authorities have reportedly used "unnecessary force" to demolish the homes of Bedouins in a village in the southern Negev desert, according to a witness.

Joseph Dana,a writer and filmmaker living in Jerusalem, told Al Jazeera the village of al-Arakib was bulldozed in the early hours of Tuesday morning - for the third time in three weeks.

"We were jolted from our sleep at about 05:00am (0200 GMT) by roughly 100 to 200 border police officers in full combat and crowd dispersal equipment.

"The police quickly rounded up the 30 or so activists away from the temporary village structure which was rebuilt in the past few days. Unnecessary force was used to control the activists and several minor injuries were reported," Dana told Al Jazeera.

Al-Arakib, which had about 40 homes and 300 residents, is one of 45 Bedouin villages not recognised by Israeli authorities.

It was demolished in late Julyby the Israel Land Administration, briefly rebuilt with temporary shelters, then destroyed againlast week.

An Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Talab el-Sana, had barricaded himself inside al-Arakib at one point last week before it was demolished, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

'Homes bulldozed'

"While the police were dealing with the activists, bulldozers destroyed all of the village structures. Most building material was then removed from the scene in order to ensure the highest degree of difficulty in rebuilding the village," he added.

Residents continue to rebuild demolished homes despite Israeli action [Joseph Dana]

"The destruction of the village lasted approximately one hour and during its course, one Israeli activist was arrested after being brutally thrown to the ground."

According to Dana, two Palestinians and one Israeli activist were also arrested in the area around al-Arakib "on Monday night".

"One simply cannot imagine the scene when 200 armed combat police officers descend on a village in the desert at 05:00am (0200 GMT), while a construction crew systemically demolishes every structure leaving the residents literally in the open desert air with nothing.

"There was little to no thought or remorse on the faces of the police officers while the village residents and their supporters were left visibly shaken.

"As soon as the police and construction crews left the village, residents began to rebuild all the structures that were demolished with the assistance of Israeli and international supporters."

Source:
Al Jazeera
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