The 'Azazme are a Bedouin tribe whose grazing territory used to be the desert around the wells at El Auja and Bir Ain on the border between Israel and Egypt.

During the 19th century the 'Azazme fought as allies with the Tarabin in their war against the Tiyaha. Subsequently they were in a land dispute with the Tarabin, the War of Zari, which lasted for several years until the founding of modern Beersheba and the extension of Ottoman authority.[1] In April 1875 Lieut. Claude R. Conder, who was surveying Gaza District for the Palestine Exploration Fund, reported a "fierce contest" going on around Beersheba between the 'Azazme and the Tiyaha.[2]

An early twentieth century explorer reported that one of the favorite grazing grounds belonging to the 'Azazme was a strip of hilly country eight miles in width between Wady Jeraafy and Wady Ubaira, 115 km south of Beersheba. He describes the land as "well grown with bush and grass."[3][4][5]

In the early 20th century the 'Azazme established a village at al-Khalasa which was the site of an ancient Nabatean settlement on the route between Gaza and Petra.[6]

In 1930 they were reported to number 10,000, divided into ten sub-sections. The writer states that "they are of dark complexion, and conspicuous for honesty and patient bearing in adversity, and they will do their utmost for the guest ... Their women herd the flocks, and they are much addicted to the abduction of women. Scarcity of grazing compels them to a wandering life more than other tribes. The area over which they wander is spacious, but affords little opportunity for cultivation: yet they grow a little wheat and barley, and a few of them cultivate millet and water melons."[1]

In 1948 the 'Azazme numbered around 3,500.[7] During 1950 the entire tribe was driven from the area around El Auja. In a series of raids the IDF burnt tents and shot at anyone approaching the wells. The IAF was used to strafe encampments.[8] On 28 September 1953 the IDF established the kibbutz Ktzi'ot on land claimed by the 'Azazme. A UN investigation into the murder of eleven Israelis at Scorpion Pass, 17 March 1954, found that the killings were committed by men from the 'Azazme who had joined a group known as the Black Hand gang, based at Qussaima. Despite the evidence that the attackers came from across the Egyptian border the IDF launched a reprisal raid against Nahalin in the West Bank.[9][10]

Prior to 1948 one section of the 'Azazme lived in Wadi Al-Akhdar, 'the green valley', between Bir Saba' and Faluja. In the early 1950s the Israeli army moved them to the hills south of Hebron. In 1969 they crossed the border into Wadi Araba but the Jordanian authorities refused to let them proceed any further fearing a general exodus of Bedouins from the Negev. They were also refused refugee status. Many of them were expelled by Ariel Sharon in January 1972 from the area of Abu-Ageila in a secret operation conducted in late January 1972.[11] There are at least nine Israeli settlements on land claimed by the 'Azazme, including the military camp and prison at Ktzi'ot and the town and nuclear plant at Dimona.[12]

'Azazme population centres in Israel include: Wadi al-Na'am, an unrecognised village with a population of 5,000; Shaqib al-Salam established in 1979 as part of a government program of establishing permanent Bedouin settlements, population 6,500; Bir Hadaj, recognised in 2004, population 5,000.


  1. ^ a b Palestine Exploration Quarterly (October 1937) Notes on the Bedouin Tribes of Beersheba District I. By S. Hillelson. Pages 249-251.
  2. ^ Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement for 1875. London. Page 158.
  3. ^ Wadi Giraafi in The Times Atlas of the World 1975. ISBN 0-7230-0138-3 Plate 86.
  4. ^ Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement for 1912. Pages 18-20.The Bedouin of the Siniatic Peninsula by W.E. Jennings-Bramey. Pages 18-20. XXII The Jeraafy District.
  5. ^ 30°15′20.12″N 34°45′58.95″E / 30.2555889°N 34.7663750°E
  6. ^ Khalidi, Walid (Ed.) (1992) All That Remains. The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. IoPS, Washington. ISBN 0-88728-224-5. Page 76.
  7. ^ Burns, Lieutenant-General E.L.M. (1962) Between Arab and Israeli. George G. Harrap. Pages 92, 93
  8. ^ Morris, Benny (1993) Israel's Border Wars, 1949 - 1956. Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-827850-0. Pages 153-157.
  9. ^ Love, Kennett (1969) Suez. The twice-fought war. Longman. ISBN 0-582-12721-1. Pages 11, 62, 109.
  10. ^ Morris, Benny (1993) Israel's Border Wars, 1949 - 1956. Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-827850-0. Page 64.
  11. ^ Anshel Pfepper, 'Sharon ordered expulsion of 3,000 Bedouin, new biography reveals ,' at Haaretz, 11 February 2014
  12. ^ Kawar, Widad Kamel (2011) Threads of Identity. Preserving Palestinian Costume and Heritage. Rimal Publications. ISBN 978-9963-610-41-9. Page 398-402.
1948 and After

1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians is a collection of essays by the Israeli historian Benny Morris. The book was first published in hardcover in 1990. It was revised and expanded, (largely on the basis on newly available material) and published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, in 1994, ISBN 0-19-827929-9.

The expanded 1994 edition contained a complete new chapter (ch. 5): Yosef Nahmani and the Arab Question in 1948. Chapters 1 (The new historiography: Israel and its past) and chapter 10 (The Transfer of Al Majdal's Remaining Arabs to Gaza, 1950) were substantially expanded.

1953 in Israel

Events in the year 1953 in Israel.

Abu Ageila

Abu Ageila is a strategically important road junction and dam in the north of the Sinai peninsula, because of its proximity to the border with Israel, approximately 25 km from Auja al-Hafir and 45 km southeast of El Arish. It was the site of major battles in the 1948, 1956 and 1967 wars between Israel and Egypt. The adjacent location Umm Katef (Arabic: أم كاتف‎) was another key Egyptian position in the Abu Ageila battles.

In 1930, there were about 10,000 and, in 1948, only 3,500 'Azazme living in this area. Furthermore, the ownership of the land they inhabited was often disputed.According to a recent biography of Ariel Sharon by David Landau, in preparation for an attack on the Suez Canal were war to break out between Israel and Egypt, Sharon ordered the secret expulsion of 3,000 Bedouin from Abu Ageila, in late January 1972, to clear the way for a military exercise code-named Oz (valour). No warning was given, and the expulsion order was executed during the onset of freezing temperatures in the desert, over three days. Moreover, no time was allowed for the Bedouin (nomadic tribes) - the 'Azazme, kin to the Tarabin in El Arish - to collect their belongings. As a result, some forty died, predominantly children, babies and old people, as they were forced to relocate to Gabal Khalal mountain. Israeli IDF members associated with the expulsion said later that Sharon probably intended to use the land for an Israeli settlement. Lt. Gen. David Elazar later ordered that the Bedouin be allowed to return.

Al-Kasom Regional Council

al-Kasom Regional Council (Hebrew: מועצה אזורית אל קסום‎, Mo'atza Azorit El Kassum, Arabic: المجلس الإقليمي للالسحرية‎, Majlis Iqlimi al Kasom) is one of two Negev Bedouin regional councils formed as a result of the split of the Abu Basma Regional Council on November 5, 2012. Al-Kasom regional council is in the northwestern Negev desert of Israel.

It is made up of seven recognized Bedouin communities: Tirabin al-Sana, Umm Batin, al-Sayyid, Mulada, Makhul, Kukhleh (Abu Rubaiya) and Drijat (Durayjat).

The overall population is over 20,000 (as of June 2013). There are also Bedouin living in unrecognized villages whose exact number is unknown. The al-Kasom Regional Council, as well as Neve Midbar Regional Council are the main arena for the implementation of the Prawer Plan, which was shelved in 2013.

Auja al-Hafir

Auja al-Hafir (Arabic: عوجة الحفير‎, also Auja), was an ancient road junction close to water wells in the western Negev and eastern Sinai. It was the traditional grazing land of the 'Azazme tribe. The border crossing between Egypt and Ottoman/British Palestine, about 60 km (37 mi) south of Gaza, was situated there. Today it is the site of Nitzana and the Ktzi'ot military base in the Southern District of Israel.


The Bedouin or Bedu (; Arabic: بَدْو‎ badw, singular بَدَوِي badawī) are a grouping of nomadic Arab people who have historically inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and the Levant. The English word bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people. Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East. They are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans (known in Arabic as ʿašāʾir; عَشَائِر), and share a common culture of herding camels and goats. The vast majority of Bedouin adhere to Islam.Bedouins have been referred to by various names throughout history, including Qedarites in the Old Testament and Arabaa by the Assyrians (ar-ba-a-a being a nisba of the noun Arab, a name still used for Bedouins today). They are referred to as the ʾAʿrāb (أعراب) in the Quran.

While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, many retain traditional Bedouin culture such as retaining the traditional ʿašāʾir clan structure, traditional music, poetry, dances (such as saas), and many other cultural practices and concepts. Urbanised Bedouins often organise cultural festivals, usually held several times a year, in which they gather with other Bedouins to partake in and learn about various Bedouin traditions—from poetry recitation and traditional sword dances to playing traditional instruments and even classes teaching traditional tent knitting. Traditions like camel riding and camping in the deserts are still popular leisure activities for urbanised Bedouins who live within close proximity to deserts or other wilderness areas.

Black Hand (Mandatory Palestine)

The Black Hand (Arabic: الكف الاسود‎, translit. al-Kaff al-Aswad) was an anti-Zionist and anti-British Jihadist militant organization in Mandatory Palestine. It was founded in 1930 and led until his death in 1935 by Syrian-born Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, whose preaching was instrumental in laying the foundations for the formation of the Black Hand, which he used to proclaim jihad and attack Jewish settlers. The idea for such a group appeared to crystallize after the 1929 riots, though one source says a decision was taken after the Day of Atonement incitement at the Wailing Wall in September 1928.

From the outset a split occurred in the organization, with one militant group led by Abu Ibrahim arguing for immediate terror attacks, while the other headed by al-Qassam thought an armed revolt premature, and risked exposing the group's preparations. According to Subhi Yasin, the terror attacks in the north were executed by the dissident group in defiance of Qassam, though in 1969 Abu Ibrahim denied these allegations. The ensuing terror campaign began with the ambush and murder of three members of Kibbutz Yagur, 11 April 1931, a failed bombing attack on outlying Jewish homes in Haifa, in early 1932, and several operations that killed or wounded some four members of northern Jewish settlements. It climaxed with the deaths of a Jewish father and son in Nahalal, from a bomb thrown into their home, on 22 December 1932.After the failure of the 1921 Syrian revolt that he led, al-Qassam escaped to Haifa. According to Shai Lachman, between 1921 and 1935 al-Qassam often cooperated with Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni. They were on good terms, and al-Qassam's various official appointments required the mufti's prior consent. He suggests their cooperation increased after the 1929 riots, in which one source claims al-Qassam's men were active. The two fell out in the mid-thirties, perhaps due to al-Qassam's independent line of activism. When the Mufti rejected his plans to divert funding marked for mosque repairs for the purchase of weaponry, Qassam found support in the Arab Nationalist Istiqlal Party. Qassam continued his attempts to forge an alliance with the Mufti in order to attack the British. He was not successful for the Mufti, who headed the Supreme Muslim Council, was still committed to a diplomatic approach at the time. Qassam went ahead with his plans to attack the British on his own.

The Black Hand was preceded by a group calling itself Green Hand that existed briefly in Safad and Acre districts and which was active for a few months during the winter of 1929/1930.

Al-Qassam justified violence on religious grounds. After the 1929 Hebron massacre, he intensified his anti-Zionist and anti-British agitation and obtained a fatwa from Sheikh Badr al-Din al-Taji al-Hasani, the Mufti of Damascus, authorizing the armed resistance against the British and the Jews.


Al-Hanajira (also Arab al-Hanajira, al-Hanajra or el-Hanajreh) was one of the five principal Bedouin tribes inhabiting the Negev Desert prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Its territory stretched north-south between Deir al-Balah and Gaza and east to the lands of the Tarabin bedouin, straddling the Hejaz Railway line. Under the British Mandate, the territory was divided between its Gaza and Beersheba. The largest clan was Abu Middein. In the 1931 British census of Palestine, Abu Middein numbered 1,419, Nuseirat numbered 1,104, Sumeiri 772, and al-Dawahra 461, bringing the total to 3,735. By the summer of 1946 the population increased to 7,125. In 1981 the population living in the Gaza Strip was roughly 10,000.

Highway 40 (Israel)

Highway 40 (Hebrew: כביש 40‎) is a north-south intercity road in Israel. At 302 km long, it is the second longest highway in Israel, after Highway 90. The highway runs from Kfar Saba in the center of Israel to the Arabah in the south, serving as a main connection between central Israel and Be'er Sheva.

Ktzi'ot Prison

Ktzi'ot Prison is an Israeli detention facility located in the Negev desert 45 miles south-west of Beersheba. It is Israel's largest detention facility in terms of land area, encompassing 400,000 square metres (99 acres). It is also the largest detention camp in the world.During the First Intifada, Ktzi'ot was the location of the largest detention camp run by the Israeli army. It held three-quarters of all Palestinians held by the army, and over half of all Palestinians detained in Israel. According to Human Rights Watch, in 1990 it held approximately one out of every 50 West Bank and Gazan males older than 16. Amongst Palestinians it was known as Ansar III after a similar prison camp set up in South Lebanon by Israel during the South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000). Ktzi'ot camp was opened in March 1988 and closed in 1995. It was re-opened in 2002 during the Second Intifada.

Ma'ale Akrabim massacre

The Ma'ale Akrabim massacre, known in English as the Scorpions Pass Massacre, was an attack on an Israeli passenger bus, carried out on 17 March 1954, in the middle of the day. Eleven passengers were shot dead by the attackers who ambushed and boarded the bus. One passenger died 32 years later of his injuries, in a state of paralysis and partial recognition. Four passengers survived, two of whom had been injured by the gunmen.

Meir Har-Zion

Meir Har-Zion (Hebrew: מאיר הר ציון; February 25, 1934 – March 14, 2014) was an Israeli military commando.

As a key member of Unit 101, he was highly praised by Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan who described him as "the finest of our commando soldiers, the best soldier ever to emerge in the IDF". Ariel Sharon described him as "the elite of the elite." His three-year military career was ended by injuries sustained in battle.

Negev Bedouin

The Negev Bedouin (Arabic: بدو النقب‎, Badū an-Naqab; Hebrew: הבדואים בנגב, HaBedu'im BaNegev) are traditionally pastoral nomadic Arab tribes (Bedouin) living in the Negev region of Israel. The Bedouin tribes adhere to Islam.From 1858 during Ottoman rule, the Negev Bedouin underwent a process of sedentarization which accelerated after the founding of Israel. In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, most resettled in neighbouring regions. Between 1968 and 1989, Israel built seven townships in the northeast of the Negev for the Bedouin population, with about half of them relocating to these areas. Others remained in unrecognized villages built without planning which lacked basic services such as electricity and running water. The Israeli government has gradually recognized some of them and taken measures to improve infrastructure and basic services, while the majority are slated for destruction with the population facing forced displacement. The Prawer Plan was drawn up to address land ownership claims and compensation. The plan also called for the evacuation of 35 unrecognized villages and the resettlement of residents in existing or new towns. According to human rights organizations opposed to the plan, it discriminated against the Bedouin population of the Negev and violated the community's historic land rights. In December 2013, the plan was rescinded.The Bedouin population in the Negev numbers 200,000-210,000. Just over half of them live in seven government-built Bedouin-only towns; the remaining 90,000 live in 46 villages – 35 of which are unrecognized and 11 of which were officially recognized in 2003.

Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages

The Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages of Negev (RCUV or RCUVN) is a political advocacy group that was established in 1997. It represents the interests of the Bedouin population living in the unrecognized dispersed communities in the Negev Desert in southern Israel.

Shaqib al-Salam

Shaqib al-Salam or Segev Shalom (Arabic: شقيب السلام‎, Hebrew: שֶׂגֶב שָׁלוֹם; also Shqeb al-Salam) is a Bedouin town and a local council in the Southern District of Israel, southeast of Beersheba. In 2017 it had a population of 9,897.Shaqib was founded in 1979 as part of a government project to settle Negev Bedouins in permanent settlements, and declared a local council in 1996. It is one of seven Bedouin townships in the Negev desert with approved plans and developed infrastructure alongside Hura, Tel as-Sabi (Tel Sheva), Ar'arat an-Naqab (Ar'ara BaNegev), Lakiya, Kuseife (Kseife) and the city of Rahat, the largest among them.

Unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel

Unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel are rural Bedouin communities in the Negev and the Galilee which the Israeli government does not recognize as legal. Often they are referred to as "unrecognized villages".

Wadi al-Na'am

Wadi al-Na'am is an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev desert in southern Israel. The nearest official settlement is Beersheba. The village is home to about 5,000 Negev Bedouins who live mainly in tents and tin shacks less than 500 metres away from a toxic waste dump, largely surrounded by the Ramat Hovav industrial zone and military areas including an Israel Defense Forces live-fire range. Because the village is unrecognized, it is ineligible for basic services and subject to periodic house demolitions, even though the inhabitants hold Israeli citizenship.

Yair Dalal

Yair Dalal is an Israeli musician of Iraqi-Jewish descent.

His main instruments are the oud and the violin, and he also sings as accompaniment. He composes his own music and draws on Arab and Jewish traditions, as well as European classical music and Indian music. He is also a peace activist, and works to enhance understanding and communication between Arabs and Jews.

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