On Tuesday, January 9th, Israeli forces entered the Bedouin village of Twail Abu Jarwal in the Northern Negev for the fifth time, in order to demolish it. Large police forces, with the aid of special-task forces and with the aerial help of a helicopter and two bulldozers, demolished the entire village. Twenty-one homes, shacks, brick rooms, and tents were destroyed. During the last battle Israel waged against the residents of this village, on 6 December 2006, Israeli forces demolished 17 homes - more than half the village. But the villagers, with the help of friends and the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages, managed to rebuild roofs over their heads, to protect them from the harsh Negev winter weather. Today, however, it seems that Israel might have won the battle — and the war — against its citizens in the Northern Negev.
But where will they go now? The once-more-newly-homeless 30 adults and 63 children? To the streets of Laqia or Beer-Sheva?
The residents of the village of Twail Abu-Jarwal bought plots of land from the Israeli government in the town of Laqia in 1978. They lived on the outskirts of town in ‘illegal’ and ever more crowded shacks for 25 years, waiting to receive their plots and build homes for their families. Several years ago, after not receiving any option from the government authorities to build legally, they returned to the location of their ancestral lands and built more ‘illegal’ shacks.
Israel’s minister of interior, Roni Bar-On announced last month that he will destroy every last one of the 42,000 illegal structures in the Israeli Negev. But, dear Mr. Bar-On, what about Israel’s responsibility towards its citizens? When will Israel create options for 80,000 of its Bedouin citizens in the Unrecognized Villages to legally build homes for their families?
For more information: Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages. 054 7487005. firstname.lastname@example.org