July 28, 2010
1,500 Israeli police evicted 300 residents who lived in 40 homes in the Al-Araqib village on Tuesday morning. These Bedouin were one of the 'unrecognised' Bedouin villages in southern Israel. The demolitions were cleared by the Israeli government to enable the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to construct a forest on this land, despite the residents winning a court appeal to overturn the original decision to seize their land and raze their homes.
The Bedouin were designated as 'unrecognised' after 1948, but have lived on this land, prior to the creation of Israel. The Israeli government has continually tried to force them to relocate in order to seize the land, as such the community is provided no healthcare, nor basic facilitates. Tens of thousands of Bedouin were resettled by the Israeli state in the 1960's and 70's after promises they would receive services if they agreed to move.
In 2005 the Jewish National Fund announced plans to bring 250-000-500,000 new Jewish settlers into the Negev through the Blueprint Negev. This led to opposition from Bedouin rights groups concerned that these plans were led by demographic considerations whereby Bedouin will be removed and replaced by exclusively Jewish settlers that seek to counter-balance the rising Bedouin birth rates. This is clearly an systematic attempt to 'Judaise' the Negev and expel the residents from land that have lived on for generations, instead the Israeli state seeks to replace them with Jewish settlers.