Photo Credit: Jamal Awad/Flash90
Bedouin riot against JNF tree planting in the Negev, January 13, 2022.

Special undercover forces operating in the south of the country on Monday night were successful in thwarting an attempt by several Bedouins to infiltrate an IDF base.

The police stated that during an operation near the Tze’elim base, a report was received from the IDF regarding suspects making their way toward the base.

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The police dispatched a drone, identified three suspects and a vehicle, and made the arrest. Various burglary tools, gloves, and face masks were seized from the vehicle.

The three suspects, Bedouin residents of the south, along with the findings, were transferred to the Israel Police for investigation.

“The Border Guards, the IDF, and the police will continue to act with determination while using all means to reach those who break the law in the south,” the police stated.

The police did not say what the Bedouin cell was after. IDF bases have been the target of Bedouin crime gangs who steal weapons and equipment to sell to terror and criminal elements.

However, in recent years, parts of the Bedouin sector in Israel have become aligned with extreme Islamic ideologies, including those of Hamas and the Islamic State.

Last week, the police arrested a Bedouin resident of the south in suspicion of intending to carry out terrorist activities on behalf of ISIS.

In May, a Bedouin who was recruited by Kataeb al-Mujahideen, a Gaza-based terrorist organization, for the purpose of promoting terrorist activity and gathering intelligence on Israel, was exposed and arrested.

Following the incident, the Regavim organization warned that the Bedouin criminal issue is now becoming a security threat.

“The issue of the Bedouin squatters’ camps began as a civic challenge and over the years has metastasized into a security threat,” Regavim warned. “We have been following the failed attempts at regulation and resettlement by Israeli governments for over two decades – attempts that have resulted in the development of a state within a state: The State of Bedouistan. The problem is not budgets but governance and enforcement, and as long as the State of Israel refrains from enforcing the law, the security threat will continue to grow deeper and more serious.”

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.