"Two of our boys are soldiers serving in Gaza right now, and each got a demolition order for his home. This is what they need to think about when they're serving in Gaza?" demanded a member of the community.
Interior Ministry officials arrived along with a police escort Sunday and caused turmoil in the Bedouin village, located near Be'er Sheva in southern Israel.
"The kids see police officers handing out eviction orders, and they think that the police are the ones evicting them. This isn't beneficial for the children in the community," Yunas al-Atrash, principal of the local school, told Ynet. Yunas has received a demolition order for his home as well.
"It isn't clear when the orders will be carried out," said Dr. Yussef al-Atrash, a family doctor who also discovered a demolition order taped to his front door Sunday.
"We have been fighting this for a long time, but each governmental official just throws the ball into someone else's court, and in the end no one sits with us to find a solution. We respect the law, but we don't have building permits," he said.
Hundreds to be homeless
According to Yussef, the buildings slated for demolition house some 200 people.
"My daughter is recovering from cancer. (In my family) we have three elderly relatives in poor condition, five soldiers who finished the army and a reserves officer, and two more soldiers serving in Gaza right now," he added.
It has been reported recently that the rate of military conscription in the Bedouin community has dropped significantly, partly due to their feelings of alienation from the state.
"My two cousins are serving in Gaza, and their homes get slapped with demolition orders. This is what they have to think about when they're fighting in Gaza? How will they (the Interior Ministry) leave 200 people homeless?" he demanded.
In response, the Interior Ministry confirmed that "22 judicial orders were distributed for illegal structures. The settlement in question is not legal nor will it be legal in the future, and it is not mentioned in any urban plan."