A week after the unrecognized Beduin settlement was leveled in an operation
secured by over 1,300 police officers, bulldozers returned on Wednesday to Kafr
al-Arakib to demolish structures that residents had rebuilt.
demolitions, which were carried out by the Israel Lands Administration and
secured by a large contingent of YASAM riot police, Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa
(United Arab List–Ta’al) holed-up inside one of the buildings in a vain attempt
to prevent its demolition.
Standing up, standing out for Israel
ILA razes dozens of homes in unrecognized Beduin village
Sanaa passed out at the scene and was rushed
to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, where he soon
Before passing out, Sanaa stated that government actions like
Wednesday’s demolitions “will lead to a popular uprising
Police said on Wednesday the demolitions had been carried
out after “a group of locals decided to trample over the law and a court order,
and build illegal buildings at this location.”
Gadi Algazi, an activist
with the organization “Tarabut- Hit’chabrut” (Arab-Jewish Movement for Social
and Political Change) said a large contingent of police began arriving at around
8:45 a.m. to carry out the demolition. Algazi said that, as opposed to last
week, there was only a small number of Israeli-Jewish activists at the site,
mainly due to the fact that police turned away a large number on their way to
the village on Wednesday morning.
Algazi said the most recent round of
demolitions would be met with more construction.
“The residents will
rebuild. I left the village at 2 p.m. and by then two tents were already
rebuilt. They will build again.”
Omer council head Pini Badash called on
Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein to bring charges against Sanaa for “blatant
disregard of Israeli law.” Omer is an upscale suburb of Beersheba near a number
of Beduin settlements.
Badash spokesman Nir Nissim told The Jerusalem
Post on Wednesday that Sanaa behaved as though he believed “the laws of the
State of Israel don’t apply to him” “In a democratic state, there can’t be a
situation where a public leader is above the law,” Nissim said. He added that
Badash would like to see the Knesset withdraw Sanaa’s parliamentary immunity,
much like it did with Balad MK Haneen Zoabi for taking part in May’s Gaza
Following last week’s demolitions Kafr al-Arakib, the Israel
Lands Administration issued a statement saying residents had first “invaded” the
area in 1998 and were soon expelled before returning a year later.
ILA said residents had been offered the possibility of renting the land for
agricultural purposes at the price of NIS 2 per dunam (0.1 hectare), but “they
refused to pay and continued to infiltrate the land year after
Tens of thousands of illegal structures have been built in Beduin
communities, and new ones are built far quicker than the state can demolish
On Wednesday night, dozens of demonstrators gathered in central Tel
Aviv to protest against the demolitions and show solidarity with the residents
of the village. Similar protests were held in Jerusalem and Beersheba on