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    LATITUDE: 31°20'30"N / LONGITUDE: 34°46'57"E, October 9, 2011. Earthwork preparation for planting of the JNF’s Ambassador Forest following the demolition of the unrecognized village of al-ʽAraqīb. In the upper portion of the image, slightly to the right, is a cluster of white rocks that surround the harāba (Arabic, “cistern”) Rashid. The path at left leads to the al-ʽUqbi family cemetery and tribal land. All the residents of this area were evicted in 1951 by the Israeli military, which claimed the site was needed temporarily for military maneuvers. In 2011, the year after al-ʽAraqīb was demolished, and while the JNF was preparing the land for planting, the Negev Coexistence Forum (Dukium), together with the Campaign for Bedouin–Jewish Justice in Israel and Rabbis for Human Rights, protested to the American Friends of the JNF that there was a case pending. Without explanation, the planting was halted and continued in other parts of the former village. The troughs remain., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°1'5"N / LONGITUDE: 34°57'5"E, November 14, 2011. Remnants of an extension to the Bedouin village of Rakhma, of the ʽAzāzme tribe. The multiple circular stains indicate the earlier presence of sire (livestock pens), which were removed and reconstructed several times. The gradient of saturation indicates how many rainy seasons/years have washed away at the stains. The faded circle in the lower right indicates that it is older, while the one in the upper left is darker, and the most recent is the one at the center, where the fertilization blankets the soil, not yet melding with the desert. A faint fourth circle may be detected just to the left of the lower one. The light manual plowing or “scratching” of the ground is indicative of ongoing Bedouin cultivation. In the absence of mechanized watering systems, the crops are watered by hand. The site is now officially within a closed military live-fire training zone. Despite this restriction, the Bedouins maintain a presence on the land., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°25'0"N / LONGITUDE: 34°27'51"E, October 10, 2011. Decommissioned British-era munitions storage bases near the Gaza border. The concrete road that runs through the center was constructed to connect the armories with an airport that was also built in Gaza in the early 1940s in anticipation of an attack by the Germans from North Africa under the command of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel during WWII. The site is on the historical Bedouin villages of Abu Mʽēlek/Ḥasanāt, of the Tarabīn tribe, which were evacuated in 1948. The surrounding fields have been plowed by the nearby Israeli kibbutz in preparation for planting., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 30°58'57"N / LONGITUDE: 34°57'52"E, November 14, 2011. Bedouin homestead of the Habsi family, of the ʽAzāzme tribe, in the unrecognized village of Rakhma. Tin houses, dirt roads, and a number of sire are visible, as well as the herds being led along the top left corner. The village currently has approximately 1,500 residents, a portion of whom have lived here for generations. After the war of 1948, during which the majority fled, seventeen families remained. In 1956 the remaining residents were transferred from the Ovdat/ʽAbdāt region as internally displaced citizens. Rakhma is frequently cited as a village suitable for recognition by the state. In 2009 the village council turned to Bimkom, an Israeli organization established to encourage democracy and human rights in the field of planning, for help in arguing for recognition of the village by the state. Currently an unrecognized village, the homes are under constant threat of demolition and the village remains without electricity, paved roads, sewage facilities, or garbage disposal., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 30°57'14"N / LONGITUDE: 34°39'25"E, November 13, 2011. Pitas, targets to simulate enemy (in this case Egyptian and Syrian) installations in a closed live-fire training zone. The targets, created by piling up earth mounds, are reminiscent of the ancient archaeological remains that are also scattered throughout this part of the desert. The live-fire zone, established on former pasturelands of the ʽAzāzme tribe, is not far from the border with Egypt. Large portions of the southern and western sections of the Negev are considered off-limits and open only to the Israeli military. These spaces are intended to seal off the border zone and obstruct the passage of the Bedouin communities., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°7'40"N / LONGITUDE: 34°18'49"E, November 13, 2011. Border zone between the Negev and Egyptian Sinai. The road at top left leads to the border a few hundred meters away. The white cubic boxes demarcate underground communication and power cables that supply the border fence. The intersecting line is a seismic test line used for oil exploration. A few kilometers south of the site, the state runs various prisons, initially for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, later for illegal migrants. Asylum-seekers from states in which war is ongoing, or from “enemy” states such as Sudan to which Israel cannot deport, can be detained here indefinitely., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°1'20"N / LONGITUDE: 34°53'3"E, November 22, 2011. Training encampment of soldier group Unit 12 of The School for Infantry Corps Professions and Squad Commanders of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). On the hillside to the right, spelled out in stones, is the prior group’s moniker, “Lions.” The site is in the southern sector of the future Ariel Sharon Training Complex for the Israeli military, and is currently within a closed military zone. Established in 1974, the school is responsible for the training of all Infantry Corps squad commanders and platoon sergeants and comprises three battalions of fully operational combat troops located in the Negev., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 30°47'57"N / LONGITUDE: 34°47'3"E, October 9, 2011. Bedouin traveler (top, center right) descending a path toward the gardens near the ruined Nabataean city of Ovdat/ʽAbdāt, founded in the third century BC. During the rains, the runoff water flows downward into the streambed, which appears here in a lighter tone. The rocks that might obstruct the vegetation have been cleared away to construct low perimeter walls. The shallow light scratching marks in the image are the traces left behind by herds of sheep and goats passing through the land. Tuleilat al-ʽēnab (Arabic, “grape mounds”) can be seen on the hill in the bottom left of the image. The city was the seasonal camping ground for the Nabataean caravans traveling along the Petra–Gaza incense route., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°18'2"N / LONGITUDE: 34°36'52"E, October 4, 2011. Ofakim (lit., “horizons”) city expansion grid, showing major roadways and plot delineation. Ofakim was founded as a development town for Jewish immigrants from North Africa and India on April 19, 1955; in later years the town received a large influx of Russian–Jewish immigrants and grew into a city. The dark circular stains on the right, around two trees that have been left, indicate the former presence of sire (livestock pens), recently evacuated. The upper portion of the image shows Israeli mechanized plowing patterns, extending into an area currently claimed by the Bedouins. Ofakim is built upon the former village of al-Saniʽ/al-Najamāt, of the Tarabīn tribe, which was evacuated in 1948., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°18'48"N / LONGITUDE: 34°56'34"E, October 9, 2011. The Meitar Forest, an extension of the Yatir Forest, although non-contiguous with it. The forest, which the JNF began planting in the 1980s, is a green belt meant to create a barrier between the affluent Jewish suburb of Meitar and the Bedouin township of Ḥūra. The hiking trails and bike paths within the new forest are woven throughout the site. The forest is north of the so-called aridity line that marks the threshold of the desert. Below this line, a method known as “savannization” is employed: a mixture of sparsely scattered acacia or eucalyptus trees with bushes and grass between, as found in the savannah region, with irrigation coming from long terraces that collect rainwater, optimizing the water retention. Above it, however, the plantation system consists of rows of Aleppo pine, the most commonly planted tree in Israel., from the series Desert Bloom