Jan 15, 2022 10:12 UTC
  • Islamic Jihad says ready to defend Bedouin Palestinians in Negev against Israeli eviction push

Islamic Jihad has thrown its weight behind Bedouin Palestinians in Negev (Naqab) in the face a forced eviction drive by Israel, saying the resistance movement stands ready to defend the occupied region as it was the case during last year’s Gaza war.

Tariq Izz al-Din, a spokesperson for Islamic Jihad's West Bank branch, made the remarks on Friday at a Gaza protest in solidarity with the Palestinian intifada (uprising) in Negev against the Zionist regime’s Judaization scheme.

“As long as the Palestinians are united and stand up against the occupying regime, all efforts by the Zionists to Judaize the Palestinian land will fail. In the course of the Operation al-Quds Sword, all Palestine stood up against Israel,” he added, referring to the operation launched by resistance groups in Gaza in May 2021 in retaliation for Israel’s bloody act of aggression.

“We will remain a single nation and land. The resistance is ready to defend Negev similar to the way that if 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.”

In addition to Gaza, a solidarity protest was held in the Arab-majority city of Umm al-Fahm on Friday.

"The issue of Naqab is the issue of every Palestinian facing the policies of occupation and apartheid. Naqab is not alone in this existential battle that he is facing," one of the participants told Wafa news agency.

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.

On Friday night, Bedouin Palestinians in the Negev communities of Tel Sheva and Segev Shalom protested the Israeli eviction plot under the guise of a forestation work.

Israeli regime forces violently dispersed the protesters, who hurled rocks at a nearby police station, set off fireworks and burned tires. At least one Palestinian was arrested during the clashes.