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The past decade has witnessed a change in both the wider knowledge production on, and political profile of, the Naqab Bedouin. This book addresses this change by firstly, endeavouring to overcome the historic isolation of Naqab Bedouin studies from the rest of Palestine studies by situating, studying and analyzing their predicaments firmly within the contemporary context of Israeli settler-colonial policies.
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Both families have filed claims for land ownership in the s, requesting that all lands they have possessed and cultivated be registered under their name. These land claims, like 3, others that were filed, were frozen.
Naqab « New Middle Eastern Studies
The claimants refused to accept any state-proposed compensation; instead, they initiated the registration of their lands in court and have waged a legal battle with the state since Al-Uqbi claimed various land parcels in al-Araqib and in Zhiliqa 1, dunams that had already been claimed in by Sheikh Suleiman al-Uqbi. Both the Beersheba District Court and later the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed the al-Uqbi case; al-Turi family members are still engaged in legal proceedings to prove their property rights over 1, dunams.
In , around fifty Bedouin families decided to return to al-Araqib to live on their land when it became clear that the Jewish National Fund intended to plant trees in the area. The confrontation between the residents and the state escalated over time.
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At first, Israeli authorities destroyed village crops, but on 27 July they demolished the entire village, which consisted of 46 structures, including 30 houses, and accommodated around persons. By June , al-Araqib had witnessed over one hundred demolitions which typically targeted all structures, shacks, tents, mobile homes, hens, and water tanks.
The Village of al-Araqib
Al-Araqib was rebuilt after each demolition, but the number and the quality of the structures decreased over time. Construction material, such as metal and wood, was many times taken or buried by the state in order to prevent residents from reusing it to rebuild the structures. Further, the demolitions resulted in injuries and arrests, and the state authorities sued the families for more than one million NIS to cover the cost of the demolitions. The individuals never had ownership over this land.
The struggle of al-Araqib has mobilized a coalition of local and international activists and organizations, The community of al-Araqib is supported by a number of NGOs and associations, including the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages, and Adalah, and by various political parties and movements.
The village has come to represent the struggle of the Palestinians in Israel against land dispossession and discrimination and mainly against the Judaization of the Negev. In , the Palestinian political parties and leadership in Israel decided to hold the main Land Day activities in al-Araqib, a symbol of resilience and somoud par excellence whose residents have insisted on their right to live on their lands and have repeatedly rebuilt their village despite the heavy monetary and psychological costs.