Israeli police officers and soldiers abducted, Tuesday, at least 40 Palestinians in several villages in the Negev amidst ongoing bulldozing and uprooting of the villagers’ lands in a move that precedes their illegal annexation.

Eyewitnesses said the police abducted more than 40 Palestinians, mostly children, during the ongoing protests in the villages of Sa’wa al-Atrash, Tal as-Sabe’, az-Zarnouq, Shqeib as-Salam, and various areas in the Negev.

The abductions took place after the Palestinians in Sa’wa al-Atrash village, supported by residents of various surrounding villages, protested the ongoing bulldozing and uprooting of their lands.

The police, including Border Police officers, stormed and ransacked dozens of homes in the Negev villages, before abducting the Palestinians.

It is worth mentioning that, last week, the police abducted more than 130 Palestinians, including many women and children, and later released some of them.

The Higher Steering Committee in the Negev held the Israeli police responsible for the escalation, especially the use of force against unarmed civilians, trying to defend their homes, lands, and livelihoods.

It added that the police used helicopters and drones to fire gas bombs at the unarmed civilians, in addition to the physical attacks against them.

On Monday, the committee held a meeting and decided to hold solidarity protests in support of the village, and the abducted Palestinians, and called for an urgent meeting in the Negev to organize unified processions against the ongoing illegal displacement of the native Palestinians in the Negev.

It said that, on December 13, 2021, the police abducted more than 86 Palestinians in the Negev during the ongoing protests against the displacement and the bulldozing of the lands and added that the protest received a permit from the police, however, the officers attacked the nonviolent protesters regardless of that order.

It is worth mentioning that on December 26, 2021, the Israeli government approved the establishment of four colonies, which would house 3000 Israeli colonists on Palestinian lands in the Negev, including other infrastructure for those colonies, such as industry projects, high-voltage electricity projects, and phosphate factories.

The approval also included construction plans for the colonists in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with a budget of around $323 Million, as part of a larger plan to build 10-12 colonies in the Negev.

The Bedouin communities in the Negev, especially those designated as “unrecognized villages” although they predate Israel, are subject to frequent demolitions of homes, tents, and structures, including barns, land confiscation, the uprooting and bulldozing of farmlands, along with various other violations.