Dozens of Bedouin - mainly children and the elderly - died following an IDF drill in 1972 in the Sinai Peninsula, according to David Landau's biography of the recently deceased prime minister.
"Neither the leaders nor the thousands of soldiers taking part were
aware that a few weeks earlier, the man whose idea the exercise was,
head of Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Ariel Sharon, had ordered the
expulsion of three thousand civilians, members of two Bedouin tribes
whose encampments and grazing grounds were in the exercise area. The
expulsion took place without warning, during a freezing desert cold
snap, without time for the Bedouin to take their belongings, causing
around forty deaths, mainly of children, babies and old people.
story has not been told for 42 years and even after it was revealed to
Lt. Gen. David Elazar who ordered to return the Bedouin to their homes,
no-one was ever held responsible. It was published for the first time
last month in "Arik," a new biography of Ariel Sharon, written by former
Haaretz editor-in-chief David Landau. The belated revelation is based
on a report written in 1972 by Israel's foremost researcher of Bedouin
life, Clinton (Yitzhak) Bailey."