Al-Naqab (QNN) Israeli occupation forces violently attacked hundreds of peaceful Palestinian protesters while demonstrating against Israel’s demolition and bulldozing works in the Palestinian villages in the Al-Naqab desert on Thursday, before arresting a number of youths.
Hundreds of peaceful Palestinian protesters took part in a large demonstration on Thursday at 3pm local time in several villages of the Al-Naqab against Israel’s repeated demolition and bulldozing works in their lands.
Some members of the Joint List, the political coalition of parties representing Palestinian citizens of ‘Israel’ in the Knesset, were in attendance.
The Higher Follow Up Committee of Arabs in the Naqab, a local umbrella body that represents Palestinians in the area, announced yesterday a general strike in response to Israel’s demolitions.
“We took the decision to undertake proactive measures, beginning with adopting a cumulative resistance programme over a period of six months that will lead to a regional general strike and a massive demonstration outside the prime minister’s office, and the internationalisation of the issue to expose the racist practices [of Israeli authorities] before international institutions,” the committee said in a statement.
The general strike was announced in villages facing the threat of Israeli demolition including al-Atrash, al-Sawa, al-Zarnouq, al-Ruwais, Beir Haddaj and Khirbet Watan.
However, the Israeli occupation forces stormed the Palestinian villages in the Al-Naqab desert and started violently attacking and arresting the peaceful protesters who gathered to denounce the demolition work.
The Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs directly and intensively towards the protesters to disperse them, resulting in the suffocation of dozens of them due to gas inhalation. They also used skunk water cannons to disperse the nonviolent protesters.
This all started on Sunday, when the Jewish National Fund (JNF) began several days of so-called “planting trees” on disputed land in the Al-Naqab.
For over two days, the Israeli bulldozers carried out demolitions on lands of local Bedouins used for cultivation.
During these days, the forces attacked and arrested dozens of Palestinian residents of fhe villages who protested against the demolition works. They also closed off the villages and prevented the residents from entering their lands. Thus, the Palestinian residents moved their protests to the entrance of the villages.
The Israeli demolitions in al-Naqab are part of a controversial Israeli plan, led by the JNF, to plant trees in the region.
Last month, Israeli forces attacked Palestinians in six villages: al-Mashash, al-Zarnouq, Bier al-Hamam, al-Ruwais, al-Gharaa, and Khirbet Watan, destroying crops and excavating soil.
The JNF and the Israel Land Authority (ILA) were planning to plant hundreds of trees on lands from the six Bedouin villages, which had all received demolition orders and faced the displacement of thousands of residents “in the name of developing the area.”
‘Israel’ has used the forestation projects as a tactic for land grabs and to prevent Palestinians from returning to lands from which they have been displaced.
The residents say that such policies are an attempt to pressure them into being internally displaced despite Bedouins having lived on or near these lands prior to Israel’s establishment in 1948.
There are almost 100,000 Palestinians live in 35 Bedouin villages in the Al-Naqab and are all unrecognized by the Israeli occupation government who views the Bedouin residents of these villages as illegal squatters and does not provide them with basic services or infrastructure, including electricity, water, sewage systems, roads, schools or hospitals.
The Israeli occupation government considers those Palestinian villages “unrecognised,” and therefore they are under threat of demolition.
(Source / 13.01.2022)