mardi 30 mai 2017

Palestinian MK demands Israeli officials be punished for demolitions in Bedouin village

Un député Palestinien exige que les représentants sionistes soient punis pour leurs démolitions dans les villages Bedouins

NEGEV (Ma’an) -- Taleb Abu Arar, a member of the Joint List coalition that represents Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, released a statement on Monday demanding that Israeli government officials be “punished” for demolitions that took place in a Bedouin village in Israel earlier this month.

According to Abu Arar, Israeli forces raided the village of Rakhma, located in southern Israel’s Negev desert, on May 17 and demolished a Palestinian home in the village, caused damage to agricultural lands, and ran over livestock with a bulldozer, killing the animals.

Abu Arar said he had sent a letter to Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and to Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel -- the latter of which Abu Arar noted is also in charge of the Bedouin Affairs Authority -- criticizing the Israeli government’s demolition policies in Bedouin villages in Israel that “affect people’s livelihoods in order to exert pressure on them to leave their villages.”

The letters also demanded that the officials responsible for the demolition be punished.

A Photo from the demolition in Rakhma

Dozens of Bedouin villages inside Israel are considered “unrecognized” by the state. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.

Demolitions targeting Palestinians with Israeli citizenship sharply increased in 2017. Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 113th time since 2010 earlier this month, while an Israeli police raid to evacuate the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiranturned deadly in January, and sparked widespread protests of the treatment of Palestinian citizens in Israel.

Rights groups have said that the demolition of unrecognized Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.

The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Israeli authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.

Meanwhile, Israeli Jewish communities in the Negev continuously expand, with five new Jewish housing plans approved last year. According to an investigation undertaken by Israeli rights groups ACRI and Bimkom, two of the approved communities are located in areas where unrecognized Bedouin villages already exist.

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