Israel is trying out a new sort of “flexible evictions” in its quest to root out the “illegal” Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, demolished 63 times to date. Now even those buried in the village cemetery are reportedly receiving eviction orders.
The Arab Bedouin village, located in the arid Negev desert but
still troubling the Israeli authorities ever since the first
full-scale demolition in 2010, is dealing with its latest
challenge: eviction orders for the deceased, rights activist
Michal Rotem writes on +972 independent blog.
According to Rotem, who is a member of the joint Arab-Jewish group Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), eight eviction orders were placed on structures in the cemetery at Al-Araqib last Wednesday.
While receiving eviction orders is nothing new for the Bedouins, who for years have been defiantly rebuilding the unrecognized village, this time the recipients’ names could have sent chills down some spines. The orders were partly issued against those no longer living in the village – and buried in the cemetery, where the Israelis placed eviction notes.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) May 26, 2014
According to the NCF, the cemetery, along with several homes and
a small improvised mosque, has so far been left untouched by the
Israeli authorities. However, it soon might change as
“flexible” evictions are to take place between June 12
and July 12, 2014. Hinting at what the author called “a new
and disturbing development, with far-reaching implications beyond
the confines of Al-Araqib itself” is the fact that the
authorities have for some reasons photographed the buildings at
the cemetery “for the first time.”
In response to the latest eviction orders, Al-Araqib’s Sheikh Sayah Al-Turi said in a statement, quoted by the NCF:
“To all the Jews who believe in equality and that it is possible for Arabs and Jews to live together, mobilize in support of truth and justice and stand up for every Bedouin home.”
“The state tells the Bedouin: you don’t have a place in the Negev or in Israel. This is a great loss for the Bedouin and a great loss for the Jews. As long as there is no recognition of Bedouin rights to their lands, there will be no peace in the region, no equality and no justice.”
The farcical situation is only the latest move of the Israeli
government in what the rights activists have blasted as
“discrimination” and “ethnic cleansing” of the
40,000-strong Bedouin population in the occupied Palestinian
lands. Israel has also been dumping city waste right next to some of the Bedouin
settlements in the desert, prompting health concerns from
The villagers earlier addressed the Guinness Book of World Records to register the ruinous “record” of Israel when the demolition count reached 38.
Locals told Ma’an news agency, that the recent developments were “very dangerous.”
“Israel has declared war against us from all directions,” a local council head Labbad Abu Affash told the agency. “Where do they plan to evacuate us? To the moon?”