Palestinian Bedouins hold strike over plan to raze land

Palestinian Bedouins in Negev hold strike over Israeli plan to raze land
2 min read
11 January, 2022
The Jewish National Fund on Monday sent diggers and bulldozers accompanied by Israeli police to two Negev villages.
Palestinian Bedouin villages often face demolition in the Negev [AFP via Getty-file photo]

Several Palestinian villages in the Negev (Naqab) desert in Israel began a general strike on Tuesday morning to protest the razing of Bedouin land.

The general strike includes schools in the Al-Atrash, Sawa, Bir Hadaaj, Al-Zarnouq and other villages, and there will also be a protest at the junction at Al-Atrash village on Thursday.

The Higher Steering Committee for Arabs in the Negev (HSCAN) announced the strike after an emergency meeting on Monday, as part of an action "escalating over a period of six months".

"This is building up to a countrywide general strike, a massive demonstration in front of the [Israeli] prime minister's office, and the internationalisation of the issue and [Israel's] racist practices in front of global institutions," HSCAN said.

Also on Monday, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a widely-criticised land organisation, sent diggers and bulldozers accompanied by Israeli police into the villages of Naqa Ber Al-Saba and Al-Atrash.

It was not immediately clear if this happened before or after the HSCAN's emergency meeting.

The JNF seeks to plant a forest on Palestinian land in the Negev.

Israeli police continued their raids in the region on Tuesday, uprooting tents set up to host sit-in demonstrations, locals said, according to The New Arab's Arabic sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

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The HSCAN said after its meeting that it is also looking to bolster domestic political support for its cause.

"In addition to the struggle on the ground, it was decided to strengthen the parliamentary support from members of the Knesset belonging to the United [Arab] List and Joint List, and Knesset members who support social justice."