GAZA CITY, Palestine

Dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip staged a rally on Saturday in support of local Arabs in the Negev region in southern Israel against violations of their rights and the bulldozing of their lands.

Protesters raised a large banner reading, “A popular solidarity stand in support of our people in the occupied Negev against Zionist terrorism.”

In recent days, hundreds of local Arabs in the Negev staged protests against their land confiscation by the Jewish National Fund, an organization that collects money from Jews around the world to seize Palestinian property.

The protests were met with brutal force by the Israeli police, causing several injuries.

Muhammad Fares, a spokesman for protesters, called on the international community to act “to stop the Israeli crimes committed against the residents of the Negev”, while also saluting the residents of the Negev for their “steadfastness and sacrifices.”

“What is happening in the Negev is against human values, and we must stand by the residents with courage,” Fares said.

According to a report on Friday by the Arab 48 website, which specializes in the affairs of Israeli-Arabs, Israeli forces arrested 132 Arab demonstrators in two days.

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

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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