Many injured as police break up protests in Israel’s Negev/Naqab region

Israeli police arrest a Bedouin man in the village of Al-Atrash in the Negev-Naqab desert (Mücahit Aydemir - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 14, 2022

Several protesters were injured as the Israeli police used brutal force to suppress a demonstration in the Negev/Naqab region in southern Israel, an Palestinian human rights centre in Israel said, and Anadolu News Agency reports.

On Thursday, hundreds of local Palestinians in Negev staged protests against their land confiscation by the Jewish National Fund.

In a statement, Adalah, the legal centre for Arab [Palestinian] minority rights in Israel, said that the Israeli police, disguised in Arab clothes, also arrested a large number of demonstrators.

The police used sound bombs, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse people, causing several injuries, according to the statement.

It said that Palestinians in the Negev had obtained prior permission from the police to organize the demonstration.

The police dispersed Thursday’s demonstration before it could start, the statement added.

For its part, the Israeli police said in a statement that their forces tried to control riots in the Shaqib al-Salam and Tel al-Saba’ areas.

The Israeli police did not reveal the exact number of demonstrators detained.

The number of Palestinian citizens in the Negev region is estimated at 300,000, living on 5 per cent of their land, 95 per cent of which they say is confiscated by Israel since 1948.