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Locals of Negev: We will not allow Israeli occupation to uproot us from our land

 “We will die on our land in the Negev and will not leave it. We will remain here even if there is no roof over our heads or even if they arrest all our men and women. We will not allow the tragedy of the Palestinian Nakba to be repeated as long as we are still alive.” This is the case of the people of the Negev in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948 who continue the battle to defend their existence rooted in their land that the Israeli occupation is trying to uproot and displace them from.

 

At the beginning of this year, the occupation authorities began implementing a plan to seize the rest of the Palestinian lands in the Negev. They  began bulldozing areas of the lands of the village of al-Atrash, which is inhabited by 7,000 people, and neighboring villages, with an area of 45,000 dunums, amid a heavy spread of its forces, which fired bullets and bombs at the Palestinians who are defending their land. Women, children and the elderly confronted the bulldozers of the occupation, despite the injury of dozens of them and the arrest of 130 others.

In a statement to SANA reporter, a member of the Defense Committee of Al-Araqib village and a specialist in the field of settlements, Aziz Al-Turi, noted that the people of Negev, like all Palestinians, have been fighting for 74 years a heroic battle to defend their land in the face of the occupation’s attempts to Judaize it. The occupation has demolished the village of Al-Araqib 196 times since the beginning of the year 2000, but each time the Palestinians were rebuilding it. The village of al-Atrash is one of 35 villages in the Negev threatened with forced displacement, with the aim of seizing and Judaizing its lands.

Al-Turi stressed that the resistance of the Negev people continues until all the occupation plans aimed at emptying the land from the Palestinians are thwarted.

Member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Maryam Abu Daqqa, pointed out that the occupation’s aggression against the people of the Negev brings us back to the beginnings of the Nakba. The Israeli occupation is trying to seize all Palestinian lands with all brutal practices, but the international community is still silent, stressing that the Palestinian people will win and defeat the occupation thanks to their steadfastness and defense of their land and sanctities.

For his part, a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Mahmoud Khalaf, said that the battle to defend the Negev in the face of Judaization is part of the Palestinians’ battle against the occupation in Jerusalem, Nablus, the Jordan Valley, Hebron and everywhere. The Palestinians carried out mass demonstrations in the 1948-occupied territories, the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip  to support the people of the Negev in the face of the plans of forced displacement and Judaization, which will fail due to their steadfastness and resistance.

In turn, the head of the International Commission to Support the Rights of the Palestinian People, Salah Abdel-Ati, stressed that the crimes of racial discrimination, ethnic cleansing and forced displacement committed by the occupation in the Negev amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. He asserted that the  international community should intervene urgently to stop the occupation practices, implement international legitimacy resolutions and end the occupation.

Inas Abdulkareem

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