Analysis News

Prawer Plan to displace Bedouin

Tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel live in “unrecognized” villages. Because the Israeli government does not recognize their claims to the lands they live on, they do not receive basic services such as connections to water lines and the power grid.

According to the plan, which the government did not widely consult the Bedouin community on when drafting, nearly all residents the unrecognized villages will be evicted and forcibly relocated to planned communities. Some — mainly in the triangle between Ksseifa, Dimona and Be’er Sheva — will be recognized by the state and services will presumably be normalized. Many of the “unrecognized” villages predate the state, while others are populated with internally displaced peoples from other parts of the Negev from 1948.

The Bedouin, Palestinian-Israeli political and civic groups and the Israeli Right oppose the plan. Community leaders are vowing to resist its implementation, which would be the largest displacement of a Palestinian population by Israel in decades.

+972 is reporting on the plan as it develops.

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    So the Israeli government is scrapping the Prawer Bill. Please allow me to rain on the parade. A few months ago many on the Left celebrated when the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law allowing the indefinite detention of asylum seekers. This week, circumventing the court's decision, the government passed a new law  allowing the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, only this time in an "open prison." The Bedouin, the Left and the -- not all that large -- protests did not kill the Prawer bill. The Right killed this bill. The current Israeli government did not wake up overnight…

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  • Bill to displace Israel's Bedouin to be scrapped, Prawer architect says

    The Bill for Arranging Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, more commonly known as the Prawer Plan, has been scrapped, former minister and drafter of the plan Benny Begin announced at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday (Haaretz report). The bill, first introduced in 2011, is a government plan to forcibly relocate some 40,000 Bedouin citizens living in dozens of "unrecognized" villages in Israel's Negev desert, which the government has never agreed to recognize or provide services to. The plan has drawn heavy criticism from both Bedouin citizens and human rights groups. In recent months it has also been…

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  • PHOTOS: Al Araqib celebrates return of jailed sheikh

    Sheikh Sayah Aturi returned to his home village of Al Araqib today (Tuesday) for the first time since his arrest on November 20. On that day, Al Araqib was demolished for the 62nd time while most of its residents were busy protesting in Jerusalem outside of the Knesset during committee debates on the Prawer Plan. This plan threatens to displace some 40,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in "unrecognized" villages in the Negev. As Haggai Matar reported: Village head Sheikh Sayakh was one of the few residents to stay behind, which led Israeli authorities to arrest him for “trespassing” on “state-owned land”…

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  • The military face behind the Prawer Plan's civilian mask

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  • See the Prawer Plan map Israel's government was keeping secret

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  • Police, courts take extreme measures against anti-Prawer Plan arrestees

    Twelve activists arrested at Negev 'day of rage' protest are still in jail after more than a week; police are asking they be detained until the end of legal proceedings; activists fear the heavy handedness is an attempt to smother resistance to Prawer. Solidarity demonstration is held in Tel Aviv. It has been more than a week since dozens of demonstrators were arrested in clashes between police and anti-Prawer Plan activists in the Negev town of Hura and in Haifa. Protesters detained at demonstrations in Israel are usually released the same day as the arrest or in the worst case scenario, the…

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  • Report: 40,000 Bedouin will be evicted from homes under Prawer Plan

    Up until now, very few details have been released about how many people and how much land will be affected by the Prawer Plan. Knesset Internal Affairs Committee chairperson MK Miri Regev revealed details of a secret document prepared in the Prime Minister's Office about the implementation of the Prawer Plan for the resettlement of the Negev Bedouins, Yedioth Ahronoth reported this weekend. According to a map obtained by MK Regev, the state will take over 250,000 dunams (61,700 acres) currently populated by Bedouins, while the Bedouins will receive 170,000 dunams (42,000 acres). Around 40,000 people will have to leave…

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  • Prawer Plan: How the natives became invaders in their own homes

    The attempt to forcibly resettle a native minority population justifies international interest. If it continues, international intervention will be justified as well. Members of the foreign press in Israel received an invitation this week for a tour in the south to “explore the topic” of the Bedouin population. The visit is intended to present the plan for the arrangement of Bedouin settlement in the Negev, which, according to the invitation, aims to promote “the economic development for the Negev's Bedouin population [and] to resolve the conflict over land ownership." The tour, which will take place on December 10, is hosted by…

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  • Beaten, arrested, threatened: A personal account from the anti-Prawer protest

    She was clubbed and dragged while her friends were beaten and arrested during a demonstration against the planned expulsion of thousands of Bedouin in the Negev. By Alma Biblash (translated by Dimi Reider) On Saturday night at the anti-Prawer demonstration in the village of Houra, a policeman swung a club against my leg when I tried to persuade him to let go of a girl he was holding by the throat. Another policeman grabbed me by the arms and dragged me off. A moment later he grabbed a little boy standing next to me, shoved his face into the dirt…

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