Sderot, writes the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, was built on farmland belonging to another Palestinian Arab village called Najd, its 422 Muslim inhabitants living in 82 homes, growing citrus, bananas and cereals. They shared the same fate as the people of Huj. On 12 and 13 May 1948, the Negev Brigade of the Israeli army – again, according to Morris – drove them out. They, too, were sent into exile in Gaza. Thus did the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, as another Israeli historian, Illan Pappé, calls it bluntly, wipe from history the people who farmed the land on which Sderot would be built.
The border town, “rained on” by Gaza rockets, is still the main plank of propaganda efforts to justify Israel’s vicious stranglehold on Gaza.
Stuart Littlewood writes:
CBN News has run a story with the headline Israel “Takes Diplomats on Tour along Gaza Border”, in which Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, tells them it’s her duty to let them “see the real challenges on the ground”.
Sderot, which has become known as “the bomb shelter capital of the world”, is a compulsory stop on these propaganda tours. Being only a mile from the Gaza Strip, residents have little time to take cover, though very few have been killed by Gaza’s erratic garden-shed missiles.
The story of brave Sderot is told ad nauseam to brainwash the media and their own people besides the coach-loads of gullible foreign politicians and tourists. The Israeli authorities have studiously counted and broadcast the number of home-made Qassam projectiles, claiming that more than 15,000 “terrorist” rockets have “rained down” on Sderot since the Israeli occupier pulled its citizens and troops out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, saying they were making a concession of territory designed to bring peace. Of course, it didn’t. Why?
For several reasons. Israel’s “concession” was the handing back of territory that didn’t belong to them in the first place. Furthermore, the pull-out on the ground has still left Israel occupying Gaza’s territorial waters and airspace, and in control of all land crossings – including the one into Egypt. The Zionist regime has thus maintained a vicious blockade on the tiny coastal enclave for the last 10 years. Hotovely and her regime colleagues, who preach non-stop about Israel’s right to self-defense, fail to understand that the Palestinians have the same right and are entitled to mount an armed resistance against their illegal occupier.
Sderot is built on the lands of a Palestinian Arab village called Najd, which was ethnically cleansed by Jewish terrorists in May 1948 before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies entered Palestine. The 600-plus villagers, all Muslim, were forced to flee for their lives.