Road 65, Ara, Arara Junction


Road 65 (British-Israeli designation) has been the main crossing between the coastal plain and Galilee in Palestine since ancient times. Historically, this crossing was used in the days of the Egyptian king, Pharaoh Thutmose III, as a route for armies and trade. Pharaoh Thutmose himself used this corridor to transport his army from Gaza to Megiddo to fight the Canaanites, which reveals its importance across history.

The road was recently built to link the settlements of Hadera and Afula in 1935, as a continuation of the construction of Road 71 from Afula to Shata, mainly in order to serve the British army and protect the settlements. The road became particularly dangerous during the outbreak of the Great Palestinian Revolt in the aftermath of military operations and raids on British and Zionist vehicles. It had witnessed multiple battles from 1936 until the last stages of the revolution and the systematic British suppression of the revolutionaries and the Palestinians in general.

However, I especially want to talk about the Ara-Arara junction here, which witnessed key milestones in the struggle of the Palestinians within the 1948 borders against the Prawer Plan that targeted and confiscated the Negev lands. On 2 August 2013, the raging demonstrations against the Plan in Ara came to an end with the arrest of 22 demonstrators and injury of several others as a result of the violence exercised by the police forces, where hundreds of members of the special units and cavalry had gathered at the entrance to Ara village. In an attempt to surround the demonstrators at the entrance to the village, the police continued to back their forces in the area so as to control the demonstrators and prevent them from reaching the main road.

Arrest campaigns followed, causing a number of injuries among the demonstrators. More than a thousand protestors had taken to the streets as part of the second demonstration which was planned today, Thursday, against the Prawer dispossession Plan amid heavy presence by the police forces and special units. The area was closed to prevent more protestors from arriving at the scene. Tear gas bombs were also used extensively. Upon visiting detainees at police stations, lawyer Aram Mahamid, from Adala, pointed out that ‘the arrest of demonstrators was random and arbitrary, and the bodies of detainees showed signs of violence and visible bruises, indicating the severe violence used by the police against the demonstrators.’




The release of all the young men arrested in the demonstration of Arara against the Prawer scheme
The release of all the young men arrested in the demonstration of Arara against the Prawer scheme, Kasmawi, 2 August 2013
The second day of anger against "Praver"... and activists' discussions, Ayoub Abu Madigam, Noon Post, 2013
The second day of anger against "Praver", Ayoub Abu Madigam, Noon Post, 2013