Saturday, September 18, 2010

The hut dwellers

Earlier this week, the police came back to the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib , northeast of Beersheva, to destroy it for the fifth consecutive time in the past two months. Later this week the police forces roamed all over the Negev, accompanied by heavy bulldozers and visited dozens villages many miles apart, destroying a house here and a house there. There was no obvious reason why the one house was destroyed and its neighbor spared - unless the goal was to intimidate as many people as possible, in all of the "unrecognized" villages.

The Bedouin residents do not give up. They began immediately to rebuild their homes once again. Volunteers from all over the country arrived at Al-Arakib to help reconstruct it - for the sixth time. But the village is being built of wooden huts, which could easily be reconstructed after the next devastation , too.

There is no point in spending money and effort on real, solid houses, which would only fall victim to the bulldozers within a week or a month. Such homes are a luxury meant for the residents of Tel Aviv or Be'er Sheva, not for the Bedouin third- of fourth-class citizens scattered throughout the Negev.