Israel Planned Forceful Removal of Palestinian Bedouins in Naqab, Documents Reveal

Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan, who in 1951 served as the head of the Israeli army's Southern Command. (Photo: via Wikipedia)

Newly- studied archives showing Israel’s intention to forcibly displace thousands of Palestinians from the Naqab Desert could help Bedouin communities claim back their lands, Israeli media reported on Monday.

Professor Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, uncovered archives documenting a 1951 Israeli military operation to forcibly expel Palestinian Bedouins from their lands in the Naqab, a large desert historically inhabited and cultivated by Bedouin tribes. The archival materials were originally released in 2017.

They include a letter written by Moshe Dayan, then head of the Israeli army’s Southern Command, and a document written by the military government in the area. According to Algazi’s research, the two documents prove the army’s intention to forcibly move the Bedouins from their lands in order to seize them.

“There was an organized transfer of Bedouin citizens from the northwestern Negev (Naqab) eastward to barren areas, with the goal of taking over their lands. They carried out this operation using a mix of threats, violence, bribery and fraud,” Algazi told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Some believe the documents could shift the balance in favor of displaced Naqab Palestinians in various lawsuits against the Israeli government, and create a legal precedent.

Bedouins from the Naqab have testified for years that Israeli soldiers expelled them but this is the first time historical research provides evidence of an orderly state expulsion plan.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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