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Fifteen Bedouin homes were destroyed by Israeli government order in the southern Negev.

The unoccupied homes were located in the unrecognized villages of Wadi Al-Na’am and A-Sera.

The destruction on Oct. 1 was part of an ongoing investigation by the Southern District administration, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Sabine Hadad. The investigation found a total of 53 structures eligible for destruction. Ten were destroyed by the Interior Ministry and five were taken down by the Bedouin themselves, Hadad said.

A home in the unrecognized village of Dir al-Hana was destroyed Wednesday, according to Yediot Achronot.

“This is an ongoing problem,” said Melanie Takefman of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The Bedouin are in a “Catch 22,” she said, since it is impossible to get a building permit to erect a structure in an unrecognized village. She added that some Bedouin have “historic claims” to the land they have built on.

About half of Israel’s 160,000 Arab Bedouin live in 46 villages in the Negev, which are not recognized by the state. Many do not have basic services such as running water, electricity and sewage systems. The government has encouraged the Bedouin to move to seven government-planned towns in the Negev.

Since the beginning of this year, Israel has demolished 130 homes in unrecognized Bedouin communities, according to Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

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