At about 10:00 Thursday morning (June 12th), local time, a large contingent of police cordoned off the village, confining residents and activists in the cemetery’s mosque (which was not demolished),while tractors and bulldozers did their devastating work and demolished the houses of the residents in the cemetery compound. With the exception of the graves themselves, the whole compound was demolished, and a caravan used as a learning center and containers were taken away. The forces empty the village’s water tanks, that were later taken too. The rubbles were taken away by lorries, so the site is now empty.
In the early afternoon the police demanded that the area of the old mosque be evacuated in order that the consructors could demolish the improvised minaret. Several residents and activists refused and 7 people were arrested, including Rabbi Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights. Five of the detainees were not released on Thursday night and were brought to court today, while four of them were released, one will stay in jail until Sunday. During the hearings a big demonstration took place in front of the court.
The residents of Al Arakib are determined not to give up the fight for their right to their ancestral lands. The struggle continues!