Arabs Threaten Uprising Over Bedouin Village Demolition

YERUSHALAYIM -

Arab leaders threatened a nationwide uprising on Wednesday if the unauthorized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev is demolished following a High Court ruling.

“Destroying Umm al-Hiran would be a declaration of war against Arabs of the Negev,” Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi told The Jerusalem Post at a protest in the village.

Wednesday was the 40th annual Land Day, and was marked by violent confrontations by Arab youths with security forces in various locations. No injuries were reported. Land Day is held March 30 of every year to commemorate the deaths, in the 1976 riots, of six Galil Arabs over a government decision to appropriate land.

Joint List MK and Balad head Jamal Zahalka said that “if Israeli authorities try to expel the residents from the village there will be a confrontation and people will come from all over the country to defend it.”

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh said that it is unconscionable that the government would destroy an Arab village and replace it with a Jewish one.

The court ruling would clear the way for construction of the Jewish community of Hiran.