The Israeli Land Authority (ILA) has demolished the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib over 18 times since July 27, 2010, in order to include the land in a forestation project by the Jewish National Fund. Located in Israel’s southern Negev desert, Al Arakib is an illegal settlement, according to the ILA. Consequently, 300 people, including children, elders and women were left without shelter or water in the desert during the summer and the Muslims Holy month of fasting, Ramadan. In March 2012, Israel’s Beersheba District Court rejected six lawsuits brought by Beduin claiming ownership of the Negev desert land.
The Bedouin community of Al Arakib claims recognition of land rights of approximately 4,600 acres of the Negev Desert. The former community presented tax payments fulfilled during the Ottoman Empire and during the British Mandate to the British authorities as proof of its ownership before the establishment of the State of Israel.
Al Arakib’s legal status is considered to be the starting point of the Bedouin uprising against Israeli expansionism, which affects more than 140,000 people. The New York Times covered the issue in August 2010, after the first demolitions.
Title: “The Israelis keep bulldozing their village, but still the Bedouin will not give up their land”
Author: Harriet Sherwood
Publication: The Guardian
Date of Publication: 28 February 2011
Title: “Court Rejects 6 Beduin Negev land lawsuits”
Author: Joanna Paraszczuk
Publication: Jerusalem Post
Date of Publication: 19 March 2012 URL: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=262501
Student Researcher: Tania Ildefonso, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty Evaluators: Luis Luján (Research Assistant), Miguel Álvarez-Peralta (Research Assistant) and Ana I. Segovia (Associate Professor), Universidad Complutense de Madrid