Israeli authorities to "evict the dead" from Bedouin village demolished 63 times
Located in the heart of the Negev desert, Al-Araqib village has been demolished over 60 times by Israeli authorities (Image: Amnesty International)
Israeli authorities have allegedly issued eviction orders to dead people to clear a village that has already been demolished dozens of times.
According to local charity the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), residents found eight eviction orders in Al-Araqib’s cemetery on 21 May.
Some of the orders were issued against people who were buried there, as well as for people no longer resident in the village.
NCF campaigner Michal Rotem believes it was a mistake from outdated records.
He said: “When residents told them they are dead, they wrote on the order 'X claims that this man is dead' and pasted it anyway on the old mosque in the cemetery.
“We assume that they want to evict the people that live in the cemetery and their homes, not the graves.”
According to local laws, if officials cannot find the subject of a court order, it can be stuck on to a structure instead.
The village, in the Negev desert, is at the centre of an ownership dispute between Arab villagers and the local government.
While the Bedouin residents claim they have the right to remain on the land, the village is one of many that are not formally recognised and all buildings are treated as illegal.
The cemetery and mosque remained untouched in the 63 previous demolitions of the village and the latest development is worrying for its 350 residents.
They have rebuilt their homes every time, including in 2010, when crops and the water supply were also reportedly destroyed.
By Lizzie Dearden
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