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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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    Ex-general overseeing implementation of bill says he has not received any instructions to halt legislation process. The Prawer Plan may not be shelved after all. Just four days after the co-author of the proposed law, Benny Begin, announced the halting of the bill that would see the internal displacement of some 40,000 Bedouin in the Negev, the former IDF general who heads the unit which is to implement the "relocation" told Haaretz Monday that he has not received any instructions to shelve the plan and is continuing efforts towards its implementation. Major General (res.) Doron Almog added that Begin can…

  • What's next for Bedouin in a post-Prawer Israel?

    The cancellation of the Prawer Plan is a victory for committed protestors. But how did this happen, and what does it mean for the Bedouin living in unrecognized villages who will wake up to a new reality? The "Stop Prawer Plan" campaigners can take this evening off and celebrate their enormous success in halting the Prawer Plan. Up until two weeks ago, all bets were on a lengthy struggle: a bill that would pass in the Knesset, followed by a long and complicated appeals process to the High Court of Justice, with a simultaneous escalation in violent confrontations between new police…

  • Allow me to rain on the Prawer parade

    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…

  • 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…

  • 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”…

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

    ‘The Bedouin will not live on his land with his flock, but rather will be part of the urban class that comes  in the afternoon and puts on his slippers,’ Moshe Dayan said in 1963. In the 50 years since, not much has changed regarding Israel's efforts to justify its policy in the Negev: as many Arabs as possible on as little land as possible and as few Jews as possible on as much land as possible. By Avner Ben-Amos (Translated from Hebrew by Mairav Zonszein) Two quotes in the same newspaper, excerpts from interviews with two former military figures,…

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

    Former minister Benny Begin, who helped draft the Prawer Plan, denies saying Israel's Bedouin support the plan: How could they if they never even saw it? (Click the map to enlarge.) Until now, nobody knew the extent of the Prawer-Begin Plan. No government official or statement has detailed how many Bedouin citizens will be displaced, how many unrecognized villages razed and how much land will be expropriated by the state. MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) on Monday published a copy of a map distributed to members of the Knesset Interior Affairs Committee. The map was prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office…

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