10 April 2014 Ma'an News Agency
BEERSHEBA (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday demolished several Palestinian Bedouin houses in the Negev desert, locals said.
Police vehicles escorted bulldozers across the Negev as they demolished a number of structures in villages not recognized by Israeli authorities.
In the village of al-Zaarura, bulldozers demolished two houses belonging to the Abu Judah family, witnesses said.
Locals in the village of Kseifa said that bulldozers demolished houses and tore down trees.
Demolitions across the Negev are still ongoing, residents told Ma'an Wednesday afternoon.
Israel refuses to recognize more than 35 Bedouin villages in the Negev, which collectively house nearly 90,000 people. Many were founded before 1966, when Bedouins were concentrated on reserves by the state and ruled under martial law, as were all Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The Israeli state denies them access to basic services and infrastructure, such as electricity and running water, and refuses to place them under municipal jurisdiction.
Some communities are subject to frequent demolitions by authorities. The proposed Prawer Plan -- which would have forcibly removed nearly 40,000 of these Bedouins from their homes in order to make room for Jewish towns in the region -- was taken off the agenda late last year after widespread protest by Palestinians.