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Israeli home demolition in Negev 'leaves 6 homeless'

May 18, 2014 7:11 P.M. (Updated: May 19, 2014 4:04 P.M.)
BEERSHEBA (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers on Sunday demolished a house in a Bedouin village in the Negev desert, witnesses said.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli bulldozers demolished the house in the unrecognized village of Wadi al-Niam under the pretext that it was built without a license.

The demolition left a woman and five children homeless, the head of of Wadi al-Niam's village council said.

"These children are like orphans -- their mom is raising them alone because their father is in jail," Labbad Abu Afasha told Ma'an.

"They demolished the house leaving the children in the open."

Talab Abu Arar, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, described the demolition as "utmost oppression and arrogance."

Abu Arar said he would "support this afflicted family against this coward racism."

Wadi al-Niam 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 tens of thousands of Bedouin from their homes in order to make room for Jewish towns in the region -- was taken off the agenda late last year following widespread protests.

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