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Emptied LandsA Legal Geography of Bedouin Rights in the Negev$
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Alexandre Kedar, Ahmad Amara, and Oren Yiftachel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603585

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603585.001.0001

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Historical Geography of the Negev: Bedouin Agriculture

Historical Geography of the Negev: Bedouin Agriculture

(p.121) 5 Historical Geography of the Negev: Bedouin Agriculture
Emptied Lands

Alexandre Kedar

Ahmad Amara

Oren Yiftachel

Stanford University Press

This chapter begins the task of challenging the geographical components of the DND, by providing a thorough account of the historical geography of the Negev, drawing on various historical accounts of European travelers and Zionists. Relying on these accounts, it challenges the hegemonic history and narrative that depict the Negev as an uncultivated and unsettled desert used by nomadic Bedouins. The chapter demonstrates that the human geography of the northern Negev was characterized, at least from the 19th century, by widespread agriculture, in parallel to traditional pastoralism. There is ample evidence that Bedouin agricultural settlement in general had existed for centuries, including among the al-‘Uqbi tribe in the ‘Araqib area. The chapter shows organized local habitation and economic activities, based on a customary and well developed land system.

Keywords:   Agriculture, Negev, ‘Araqib, European Travelers, Customary Land System, Ottoman, British Mandate

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