Eleven Crucial Dots on the Map

Pioneers plow the fields of Kibbutz Kedma, one of the 11 points in the Negev. November 1946

October 6 1946 – 11 Tishrei 5707

Eleven new settlements were set up in the Negev immediately after the Day of Atonement in a race against time to create facts on the ground and ensure that the southern part of the country would be included within the borders of the Jewish state. A series of international committees were set up to determine whether and how Mandate Palestine could be partitioned between Arabs and Jews, and the speedy addition to the Jewish population of the Negev was crucial to prevent the loss of the settlements already existing there. The method was basically the same as that used to create the tower and stockade settlements of the Galilee. A Turkish law under which any illegal building with a roof could not be demolished, was exploited to create small settlements with roofed buildings overnight, before they could be discovered and destroyed by the British authorities.  In the Negev operation though, the stockade was a barbed wire fence and the “tower” was in fact a water barrel raised on long wooden poles. The British didn’t oppose the operation, and in some of the eleven locations local bedouin even helped set up the settlements overnight.