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‘Hamas killed Arabs, Bedouins, and Jews’ - Israel’s Bedouin soldiers vow to fight until the end

'I would insult animals if I say they are animals,' says Bedouin soldier about Hamas

Illustrative - IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip, July 2024. (Photo: IDF)

As Israel is busy fighting its Arab enemies, it’s important to keep in mind that many Muslim Arab citizens serve in the Israeli military and don’t see any contradiction in that fact.

Hamas’ invasion and massacre on Oct. 7 impacted the Western Negev region, where many Bedouin Arabs live and work. As a result, Bedouins were murdered and kidnapped alongside Israeli Jews and foreign workers on the morning of the attack.

“Hamas killed Arabs, Bedouins, and Jews – no difference,” Muslim Bedouin IDF officer Lt.-Col. Nader Eyadat recently told Walla News in an interview.

Eyadat (39) was surprised to be appointed commander of the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion on the morning of Oct. 7, when its previous commander was killed in the fighting.

On that fateful morning, the married father of two left his home in the Bedouin community from Beit Zarzir and quickly took command of the battalion, leading it into the thick of the chaos and the ongoing fighting.

“We had the mission to retake control of part of Route 232 and clear it of terrorists... Suddenly you see damaged tanks and armored personnel carriers on the roads, wounded civilians and corpses of Nukhba terrorists. I understood what was going on when I saw the body of a civilian at an intersection with a bullet in the head,” he said.

“Then, we had an encounter with terrorists at the Gama junction,” between the Kibbutz Kissufim and Kibbutz Be’eri. “My fighters and I know the sector like the back of our hands, we trained on infiltration scenarios [of] one, two, three terrorists. Who would have thought that thousands of terrorists would infiltrate?”

After securing several junctions to allow the reinforcement to enter the area, Eyadat’s battalion began taking an active role in the fighting, clearing the road to their home base from Hamas terrorists while rescuing civilians, and locating foreign workers hiding in greenhouses.

“The Bedouin warriors are brave. No need to tell us where to go. We know the area very well,” said Eyadat.

“There is a video where you see a Bedouin father begging for his life and he is holding a small child. They tell him: ‘You are a traitor’ and killed him in front of his son. This is a very difficult video. You see the hate in the videos. Also of the citizens of Gaza. They hide behind religion and educate to hate. They murdered and kidnapped Bedouins.”

“This is a terrorist organization that wants the destruction of the country. The veteran fighters of the reconnaissance battalion came here without anyone asking them and rushed here from anywhere in the country without questions,” the commander said.

Abdallah El Abid, a soldier in the recently established reserve company of the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion, concurred.

The father of three daughters joined the active troops on his own accord and has been serving since then. He is a resident of Tel Sheva, a Bedouin town that is also home to the sisters of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

“As a Muslim, I say that it is not written in the Quran to kill civilians, burn babies, rape women. In what religion does it say that? But they did it. I would insult animals if I say they are animals. Everything they did is against Islam,” said El Abid.

“The Bedouins will fight until the last drop of blood. All Bedouins think the same. Hamas killed Arabs, Bedouins, and Jews – no difference. I am proud of my military service. I volunteered for regular service and here I am. I will be here as long as they ask me to be.”

“I have never felt racism in my life. I walk around with a uniform and a weapon with great respect and pride,” Eyadat added.

“I call on others to volunteer as well. The reconnaissance battalion is a family. There are Jews and Bedouins here. They’re all together. There are stigmas about Bedouins, but when you get to know them, that disappears. I am proud to serve in the IDF.”

Numerous Bedouins have lost their lives fighting for the State of Israel since Oct. 7.

Last November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Eyadat’s battalion, praising the dedication of its soldiers.

“Jewish and Bedouin commanders are standing shoulder-to-shoulder. They have fought, and are now fighting, heroically. They are safeguarding our country in an exemplary manner and in full partnership. I salute you and rely on you. You are the future of us all. Our partnership is the future of us all against these savages,” Netanyahu said..

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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