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Israeli extremists attack Negev village

July 21, 2013 3:50 P.M. (Updated: July 22, 2013 9:13 P.M.)
BEERSHEBA, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli extremists attacked a Bedouin village in the Negev overnight Saturday, locals say.

Villagers from Umm al-Hiran, near Hura, say Israeli extremists launched coordinated attacks on residents, damaging properties and attacking livestock.

On Sunday, a group of 40 extremists broke into the Bedouin village of Rakhama, which is unrecognized by Israeli authorities. The extremists raided the village at 4.30 a.m. and assaulted livestock, before returning at 8 a.m. and verbally assaulting residents.

Villagers forced the group to leave the area.

Bedouin MK Taleb Abu Arar said he sent an emergency request to the Israeli Minister of Public Security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, urging him to fight against Israeli assaults on Palestinian villages in the Negev.

In May, residents from the Kibbutz of Retamim attacked the adjacent Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj and set fire to a tent belonging to Eid Abu Habbak, head of the local village council, Salman Ibin Hamid, told Ma'an.

"The setters of Retamim are acting like they are in the West Bank," Ibn Hamid added. "These people have the mentality of the occupying settler to attack every Arab," Ibn Hamid said at the time.

On Monday, thousands of people demonstrated across Israel and Palestine to protest a controversial plan which would see the forced displacement of nearly 40,000 Bedouins in the Negev.

The Israeli government approved the Prawer-Begin plan in 2011, in what it says was an attempt to address the problem of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev desert of southern Israel.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the plan will forcibly evict nearly 40,000 Bedouins and destroy their communal and social fabric, condemning them to a future of poverty and unemployment.

Israel refuses to recognize 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev, which collectively house nearly 90,000 people.

The Israeli state denies them access to basic services and infrastructure, such as electricity and running water, and refuses to place them under municipal jurisdiction.
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