In June 1970, the Israeli Prison Service began collecting small groups of Palestinian detainees from detention facilities across Israel and concentrating them in the Beersheba prison. From there, once every two to three weeks the groups were taken to a desolate spot in the desert. There they were equipped with a hat, a canteen of water, and one Jordanian dinar, and were sent to cross the border into Jordan – so as to never return. Over at least two years, Israel deported more than 800 Palestinians in a large-scale deportation operation that to this day remains a secret and hidden from the Israeli public. Even today, almost 50 years later, and despite many attempts by Akevot and others, the Ministry of Defense still refuses to reveal documentation about Operation Patient – the name of the prolonged deportation operation.
This episode of the podcast relies on documents we were able to locate in archives in Israel and abroad in order to – for the first time – tell the story of Operation Patient.