Israel destroys eight structures, mosque in Bedouin village

Published December 29th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Bulldozers sent by the Israeli Interior Ministry, on Monday destroyed eight structures and a mosque in a Bedouin village located in the Naqab (Negev). The residents of the area were furious over what they described as disrespect for their religion and vowed that "What was destroyed will be rebuilt". The Israeli Interior Ministry refused to comment on its latest operation. 


"A country that doesn't respect religious sentiments is one that crosses the line", a Bedouin Negev resident told Yediot Aharonot website after bulldozers ruined a mosque and eight structures near the Ara'ra village, in accordance with an Interior Ministry order. 


A force consisting of 200 policemen secured Monday morning the supervision and destruction teams, which acted on behalf of the Interior Ministry in destroying what they described as "illegal structures". 


The operation stirred anger throughout the Bedouin community. "They came and evacuated the women and children from the homes and destroyed their buildings without giving them enough time to get ready", Attiyah Assam, a local resident and Bedouin activist, told the website, after witnessing what took place in the area.  


Said Alchurami, Secretary General of the United Arab list, the political wing of the Islamic Movement said the public's response will be rebuilding the structures that were ruined. 


Earlier this year, officials from the Israeli Interior Ministry destroyed a mosque in the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of Tel al-Mileh based on claims that it was an unlicensed building. Human rights bodies claims the destruction of buildings and the crops of the Bedouin residents is an example of "a consistent pattern of gross violations of the basic human right to property committed by the government of Israel against the indigenous Palestinian Bedouin community." (

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