Under the guise of afforestation and urbanization plans in al-Naqab, the Israeli colonial project hides a much bigger plan to settle hundreds of thousands of settlers, changing the demography of the Palestinian region.
The Israeli Occupation has once again regulated another ethnic cleansing and displacement plan and this time the target is Al-Naqab. Although these plans of displacement are not new as they have been established years ago, the Israeli Occupation has been exhausting all the possibilities for the past decade since these plans have been always met with resistance and uprisings on the Palestinian end.
Al-Naqab has always been an Israeli target, but the new plan of afforestation was regulated a couple of years ago and the aim is to turn it into a new “Tel Aviv” by “urbanizing” the occupied Palestinian desert. This expansionist plan is backed by “The Jewish National Fund”/ KKL that established “The National Master Plan for Forests and Afforestation” in cooperation with “Israel Land Authority”. The Israeli propaganda is the first thing to appear on the website of “The Jewish National Fund” where it has been promoted as an eco-friendly plan summoning Jews around the world to plant trees in what they claim their “Jewish Homeland”.
“The Negev 2020 Plan” according to The Jewish National Fund “advocates” for a vision of Al-Naqab as a part of “Israel of the future” which is simply an illegitimate state under the cover of modernity, green areas, and resettlement. The plan aims to bring 300,000 more settlers to Al-Naqab and displace Palestinians from their towns in order to turn Al-Naqab into a forested modern city using the model of “Tel Aviv” which is another colonial city built on the ashes of depopulated Palestinian villages. The “green” plan focuses on educational and technological developments as well while ethnically cleansing Palestinians who remained there after years of Israeli attempts to depopulate the area.
Israeli forces have carried out their attack on the lands to be targeted by the plan for the past months and afforestation has hunted Al-Naqab for months, which would lead to the theft of the Palestinian property and the demolition of Palestinian houses in many Bedouin villages. Villages that the Israeli occupation does not even recognize as Palestinian villages and are denied permits and basic rights.
Last December, the Israeli forces started their attack on six Palestinian villages – al-Mashash, Khirbet Watan, al- Zarnouq, Beir al-Hamam, and al-Gharaa – where Palestinians have been fighting against the Israeli attack on their Land and crops and where thousands of Palestinians reside. The Israeli forces have been carrying out these attacks for the past ten years indicating that the plans are not new and the calls for action have been overshadowed by the “Israeli Urban planning”.
What has been happening for the past three days appears like a foreshadow for a new Palestinian uprising as Palestinians in towns like Tel Al-Sabaa, Shaqib Al-Salam and Saawa have been protesting the theft of their land under that venomous project the Israeli occupation is currently trying to implement in Al-Naqab. The protests have been violently suppressed by the Israeli occupation forces in every village and many Palestinians have been detained by far.
Palestinians all over Palestine including Gaza, Haifa, Umm Al-Fahm, and Al-Sheikh Munis have been protesting the ongoing plans that target what has remained of the Palestinian property.
Palestinians in the occupied territories have been met with suppression and tear gas as the Israeli Occupation Forces have been testing new stun grenades and using drones.
It is worth mentioning that the “Israeli” Parliament/ “The Knesset” has agreed on backing the Israeli Occupation Forces financially by huge amounts, since the Israeli endeavors to suppress the last Palestinian uprising that took place last May all over Palestine was not expected by the Israeli occupation. The Israeli occupation conceals the real motives for the funds for the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and the new units employed to suppress Palestinians as they claim that fund to be a part of their project to fight crime in the 48 territories, the crime scenes they have implanted in the first place.
As reported on social media by far many Palestinians have been detained by the Israeli Occupation Forces and there have been appeals by Palestinians in Al-Naqab for more Palestinian lawyers to volunteer to represent the detainees. Meaning, the Knesset plan to try and suppress Palestinians more violently does not seem to be working because the protesters in Al-Naqab are still revolting against the Israeli plan to capture their land.
This uprising in Al-Naqab comes right after many other uprisings in different Palestinian cities and villages like Beita, al- Araqib, al-sheik Jarrah, Silwan, Beit Safafa and the list goes on under an expansionist settler-colonial project, but the Israeli justifications might be different in some places to fit their Zionist narrative and motives. Given all the uprisings against the ethnic cleansing plans that have been happening all over historical Palestine against the Israelization, it appears that a bigger Palestinian revolution is expected to ignite soon.