Jewish settlers’ NGO demands army, Shin Bet to stop protests in Negev/Naqab

Israeli police arrest a Bedouin man in the village of Al-Atrash in the Negev-Naqab desert (Menahem Kahana - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 14, 2022

An extremist Jewish pro-settler group, Regavim, demanded, on Thursday, the Israeli army and the Shin Bet security service to end protests by Bedouin residents of the Negev/Naqab desert region against planting trees on disputed land.

“During the events of May 2021, the army’s response was slow and late, roads and cities were burned, life was disrupted, and it took a long time for security to return, and these scenes should not be repeated, and we demand action now,” said Regavim Director General, Meir Deutsch, Israel’s Channel 7 reported.

“The events that took place yesterday [Wednesday] and today [Thursday] in the Negev are a direct result of the government’s failure in the issue of agriculture, as we had previously warned that surrender by the Prime Minister would directly lead to an increase in confrontations in the streets,” he added.

Deutsch claimed that the statements of elected officials, led by Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defence Forces and an MK for Meretz, Yair Golan, were the fuel that led to the ignition of the Negev, and that responsibility must be taken and lessons learned.

Many Negev Bedouin, Arab residents who have Israeli citizenship, live in unrecognized townships scattered across the southern desert.