Al-Araqeeb Village’s Residents Asked to Pay Cost of Demolishing Their Village

Israeli soldiers drive residents of Al-Araqeeb out of their village. (Photo: Oren Ziv, ActiveStills.org, file)

An Israeli court last week ruled that several residents of the unrecognized village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev of southern Israel must pay the costs for demolitions carried out by Israeli forces, which have completely destroyed the village at least 116 times since 2010.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday that an Israeli court had ruled that six residents of the village must pay 262,000 shekels (more than $72,000) for the costs of demolishing the village, in addition to 100,000 shekels ($27,693) to cover the costs of the state’s lawyer.

The case began in Aug. 2011 against 34 village residents, as the Israeli state prosecution demanded reimbursement for costs of eight Israeli-ordered demolitions that destroyed the village between July and Dec. 2010, according to Haaretz.

Two of the village residents died during the legal proceedings, while 26 agreed on a compromise. However, six had continued until the end of the court proceedings.

Haaretz reported that the six would also have to pay for the state prosecution, “for recordings and minutes, which are likely to be a few thousand shekels more.”

The unrecognized Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of Israel.

Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel’s military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.

Now more than 60 years later, the villages have yet to be recognized by Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.

(MAAN, PC, Social Media)

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