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Israeli authorities destroy Bedouin crops in Negev

March 15, 2017 2:49 P.M. (Updated: March 15, 2017 10:21 P.M.)
(File)
NEGEV (Ma'an) -- For the second day in a row, the Israeli Land Authority (ILA) destroyed crops planted by Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev desert of southern Israel on Wednesday morning, according to locals.

Residents told Ma'an that bulldozers and tractors under heavy armed protection plowed and destroyed crops in a 50-acre-field that belongs to al-Quraan Bedouin tribe near the Nevatim junction on Highway 31.

An ILA spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Similar events took place on Tuesday morning, as Bedouins reported that ILA officials destroyed fields of wheat, barley, and other grains planted by Palestinian Bedouins in the outskirts of the villages of al-Surra, Tal al-Milih, and Kseifa in the Negev.

Reports of ILA officials destroying crops belonging to Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev have seen a recent increase. Last week, for three consecutive days, Israeli authorities damaged crops belonging to Bedouins in the Negev-area village of Waldi al-Niam over claims that the lands were property of the state of Israel.

Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev are some of the most vulnerable communities across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, and face ongoing displacement at the hands of Israeli authorities.

Because Bedouins generally lack titles to the lands their ancestors have historically grazed and lived on, it is difficult for them to prove their right to live and work on the lands, which were declared property of the state of Israel in 1948.

Rights groups have claimed that the destruction of Bedouin farming lands and home demolitions in Bedouin villages are a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish-Israeli communities.

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