Israeli forces have arrested more than 100 Palestinians during recent clashes in the Negev desert, a report says, as the Palestinian residents of the region, including children, face a forced eviction drive by the occupying entity.
The mass arrests occurred during Tel Aviv’s crackdown on protests staged in reaction to a much-condemned campaign of demolition and razing of Palestinian’s farmlands in Negev (Naqab), the Palestinian Information Center said on Sunday, citing a report by Kan Radio Hebrew.
The report said an Israeli court extended the detention of more than 50 of those arrested and released the rest to be placed under house arrest, while appeals lodged by Israeli police and lawyers representing the citizens are being studied by courts.
Tensions grew in Negev on Monday after diggers and bulldozers of the so-called Jewish National Fund (JNF) razed some Bedouin farming lands as part of a controversial tree planting program.
In recent days, hundreds of Palestinians have held protest rallies in Negev, condemning the Israeli eviction plot under the guise of a forestation work, but the demonstrations have been met with a brutal crackdown by Israeli police units, which use rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, as well as skunk water to disperse protesters.
On Thursday, in particular, hundreds of local Arabs in Negev held demonstrations against confiscation of their lands by the JNF, which, according to Palestinian media, is a Zionist organization that collects money from Jews around the world to seize Palestinian property.
Adalah, the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel, said in a statement that the Israeli police, some disguised in Arab clothes, also arrested a large number of demonstrators. It added that many local residents have so far been wounded during the Israeli crackdown.
This is while locals said that they had obtained prior permission from the Israeli police to organize the demonstration, the statement further said.
On Saturday, Islamic Jihad threw its weight behind Bedouin Palestinians in Negev (Naqab) with Tariq Izz al-Din, a spokesperson for its West Bank branch, stressing that, “The resistance is ready to defend Negev similar to the way that it defended its captives and inhabitants in Sheikh Jarrah.”
“We will not take a neutral position and we will support the intifada of our countrymen in Negev,” he added.
Izz al-Din also condemned the international community’s silence on recent Israeli crimes in Negev, saying that the regimes normalizing ties with Tel Aviv are partners in the regime’s push to displace Negev residents.
Israeli authorities have been carrying out forced evacuations against Bedouins since 1949. The demolition of Bedouin homes is part of the regime’s massive land-grab policy, which will forcefully displace thousands of people.
Tel Aviv has so far refused to recognize the rights of Palestinian Bedouins and denies them access to basic services.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.