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Israeli forces demolish Bedouin homes in Negev

March 5, 2014 6:53 P.M. (Updated: March 7, 2014 4:40 P.M.)
NEGEV (Ma'an) -- Bulldozers escorted by a large contingent of Israeli forces demolished homes belonging to Bedouin citizens of Israel in al-Zaarura village in the Negev on Wednesday morning.

Eyewitness Muhammad Abu Judah told Ma'an that Israeli forces and police officers accompanied bulldozers as they approached al-Zaarura village from the west.

Locals told Ma'an that bulldozers demolished houses belonging to the al-Farawnah family.

Al-Zaarura is one of dozens of Bedouin villages in Negev which is unrecognized by Israeli authorities.

Israel refuses to recognize more than 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev, which collectively house nearly 90,000 people. Many were founded before 1966, when Bedouins were concentrated on reserves by the state and ruled under martial law, as were all Palestinian citizens of Israel.

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.

Some communities are subject to frequent demolitions by authorities. The proposed Prawer Plan -- which would have forcibly removed nearly 40,000 of these Bedouins from their homes in order to make room for Jewish towns in the region -- was taken off the agenda late last year after widespread protests among Palestinians.
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