The demolished homes belonged to 17 families from the Talalka tribe. These families, totaling about 80 people, have been left homeless.
Chairman of the unrecognized villages of the Negev Hussein al-Rafiaa was enraged by the destruction: "The State of Israel is trying to cover up it's failures by turning the residents into the criminals. But in reality the State of Israel is the criminal – people are forced to build here."
"After all it’s a whole people, they can't all be criminals, where do they have to leave to? Do they have ready homes? Do they have land of their own?" he continued.
In the meantime, tents are getting ready to be set up by the tribe for the 17 families who have lost their homes.
The tribe also decided that later on a protest tent would be set up where donations could be collected for rebuilding the homes, in the place of those that were demolished.
Residents stay put
Demolishing houses in the Negev is a common practice, but has been proven to be inefficient since the residents whose homes were demolished usually do not leave the territory and use donations to set up tents and live on the land.
"Whoever's home was destroyed says 'I'm staying put. I'll sleep in a tree, I'll sleep on the sand, but I will not leave," al-Rafiaa explained. "We want to build with permits and we ask the prime minister to stop this wave, to sit down and work out the situation."
MK Talab El-Sana, a resident of the Negev, responded to the demolitions by saying: "This is the State of Israel's declaration of war on its Bedouin citizens. This act is no worse than that of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza strip. This is a racist policy."
El-Sana called on the government to hold talks and solve this problem through negotiations.
The Land Administration responded that "the units appointed for guarding the States land in the Interior Ministry and the Israel Land Administration will continue to do their job and act with determination to evacuate invaders and destroy illegal constructions on the States land wherever violations are found."
The police reported that the officers acted according to law. They refused to report how many officers took part in the demolition but reported that four people were arrested for assaulting an officer after trying to disrupt the demolition.