The Israeli occupation authorities have told the Palestinian owners of homes destroyed by security forces to pay the demolition costs, Safa news agency reported on Sunday. Israeli magistrates sat in a special session in Be’er Sheva on Sunday to consider the case filed by the Israeli authorities versus the Palestinians living in the village of Al-Araqeeb.
Al-Araqeeb is an old Palestinian village in the lands occupied by Israel in 1948. Since then, successive Israeli governments have refused to recognise the village, which means that it is not connected to local public services. It has been knocked down by the Israelis 92 times and the authorities are demanding that the residents pay the costs of the demolitions. An amount of 2 million New Israeli Shekels (around $515,000) is being demanded.
This was the cost of just one demolition, on 27 August 2010. Residents face the prospect of having to pay much more in respect of the other occasions when the Israelis have destroyed their homes.
In addition to Al-Araqeeb, there are 40 other Palestinian villages facing the same fate.