Thousands of Beduin protest Negev town demolitions

Gov't plans to demolish buildings in Bir Hadaj as well as other towns prompts protests outside Interior Ministry, general strike.

Beduin take part in protest in Beersheba 521 (photo credit: Reuters)
Beduin take part in protest in Beersheba 521
(photo credit: Reuters)
Beduin soldiers who will soon be serving on the front lines as trackers completed their basic training phase with a grueling five-hour march on Thursday.
Signicant numbers of Beduin youths continue to join the IDF, where many put the age-old Beduin knowledge of maneuvering land on foot – gained through a rich history of nomadic movements – in the service of Israel’s national security.
Pvt. Kasem Juamis, of the Western Galillee village of Zarzir, was one of the soldiers who completed the monthand- a-half basic training this week, and was cited by his commanders for being the most outstanding recruit.
“From here, we will go on to 3.5 months of advanced training. Eventually, we will be spread out and join IDF forces on all the borders to search for infiltrators,” Juamis told The Jerusalem Post last week.
“We search for footprints, and then follow tracks until we catch up with infiltrators,” he added.
“I enjoy being in the field,” he said. “We Beduin know the territory well.”
Juamis said other youths from his village have joined a variety of units in the security forces, including the IDF’s Nahal and Golani Brigades, and the Border Police.
He expressed pride over his citation, adding that his family joined him at the ceremony marking the completion of basic training.
“What makes the Tracking Unit such a quality force is the fact that its soldiers are exempt from conscription, but choose to join anyway, on behalf of the State of Israel,” said Lt.-Col. Zohir Falah, commander of the IDF Tracking School.
“The trackers undergo professional training that helps them deal with every incident in the best way, and to provide the fastest response.” The trackers have prevented many terrorist infiltration attempts in the past.
“There are attempts to cross into Israel every day,” Juamis said. “I feel we will be ready to stop them.”