Support the Residents of Al-Arakib in Palestine!
We the undersigned stand in solidarity with the Bedouin-Palestinian residents of the village of Al-Arakib, in southern Palestine (within the so-called "green line" and under Israeli sovereignty). We stand by the rights of the Bedouin-Palestinian people to live on their ancestral lands, in the houses build by their own hands, free from repression and violence. We also stand by the right of these villagers to receive full infrastructures and amenities as befitting the citizens of a modern country. During the past six months, this village, which was initially destroyed in 1948 and rebuilt in the 1990's, was repeatedly demolished by the Israeli authorities. The Israeli state used heavy equipment and massive numbers of heavily-armed cops to crush the locals' resistance and wreck the village. It should be noted that even before its demolition, Al-Arakib was not recognized by the state authorities, and therefore was not provided with even the most basic amenities and infrastructures such as modern sewage facilities, proper roads, regular water supply or electricity. But the worst attack - the eighth since July 2010 - occurred on January 16th, 2011. Massive Israeli Police forces descended on Al-Arakib, attacked the locals with rubber bullets and billy clubs, demolished the meager houses of the village and leveled the land flat, leaving the villagers without a roof over their heads in the middle of the desert, exposed to the elements. The Israeli government plans to plant a forest over Al-Arakib's lands in the near term, but on the long term, the state-machine plans to build an elite gated community, called Hiran, over these disputed lands. Hiran, funded by the US millionaire Ronald Lauder, will be an expensive real-estate project where residence will be restricted to religious Jews only. This is nothing but an act of racist violence against an indigenous people. We demand that the village of Al-Arakib will be recognized, its houses rebuilt at the government's expense, and proper infrastructure supplied to it for the benefits of its Bedouin-Palestinian residents!