Approximately 90,000 Bedouin live in "unrecognized villages" spread across Israel's Negev Desert. Because the Israeli government refuses to recognize them, they receive no municipal services, such as connection to the electrical grid, water mains or trash pickup, and are constantly at risk of demolition. Maryam Tarabin, the head of Umm al-Hiran's Women's Committee, speaks about the discrimination facing Israel's Bedouin population on a daily basis.Read More... | 2 Comments
Over 1,700 structures were self-demolished by their owners over the past three years following pressure by police and state inspectors. Around half the demolitions were carried out in recognized Bedouin villages. Israel demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in the Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders, according to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF). In 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in the Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves. [tmwinpost] The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of…Read More... | 3 Comments
The brutal police beating of a young Bedouin man outside his Tel Aviv workplace, where he was working to save money for university tuition, leads hundreds of Israelis to pitch in and pay his tuition. (Update: the crowdfunding campaign has reached 200 percent of its original goal.) By Michal Rotem Mayasem Abu Alqian, a 19-year-old Bedouin citizen from the southern town of Hura, was attacked on Sunday by a group of Israeli Border Police officers near Rabin Square in the middle of Tel Aviv. Two plainclothes policemen approached Abu Alqian on the street outside his work, demanding that he produce…Read More... | 7 Comments
A new book examines the ways in which Israel's policies of displacement in the Negev are also drastically changing the environment where hundreds of thousands live. By Tom Pessah What do you think of when you think of a desert? An area with little precipitation, mostly uninhabited except perhaps by nomads? An empty place with no history, waiting to be filled with people and vegetation? A new book by professor of architecture Eyal Weizman and photographer Fazal Sheikh unpacks these assumptions, and exposes how they are being used by Israel in displacing its Bedouin citizens in the Negev. The…Read More... | 5 Comments
Demonstrators march outside Be'er Sheva court, calling on the government not to evacuate two unrecognized Bedouin villages. Text by Yael Marom, photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Over 300 demonstrators marched outside the Be'er Sheva District Court Thursday against the planned demolition of two unrecognized Bedouin villages, Umm al-Hiran and Atir, in Israel's Negev Desert. Two villages are slated to be replaced by a Jewish-only community and a Jewish National Fund forest, respectively The protesters, Arabs and Jews, accompanied by members of Knesset from the Joint List and Meretz's Issawi Freij, chanted "We will not move from Atir and Umm al-Hiran," and…Read More... | 7 Comments
The Negev comprises two thirds of Israel's territory, but only 10 percent of citizens lives there. It is thus no coincidence that the Jewish settlement of Hiran is being planned directly atop the ruins of the Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran. This is a test for all Israelis, and I really hope we do not fail. By Michal Rotem On January 17, Israel’s Supreme Court judges decided not to hold an additional hearing on the future of the Bedouin villages Atir and Umm al-Hiran. Legally speaking, this means that the court’s May decision, according to which there is no barrier to…Read More... | 9 Comments
According to a recent court ruling, only Bedouin need to be concerned about illegal construction. Israeli Jews, it turns out, are immune to home demolitions. By Michal Rotem (translated by Ofer Neiman) The Be'er Sheva Magistrates Court recently overturned an indictment against a Jewish Israeli for building three guest houses without a permit, due to "abuse of process." In short, the defendant argued that enforcement had been selective, since the entire nearby Jewish community of Azuz — located in Israel's Negev Desert — had been built without permits in the same area in which the defendant operates his guest rooms.…Read More... | 2 Comments
Despite DNA evidence and a failed lie detector test, the police officer who allegedly shot and killed Sami al-Jaar will most likely not face criminal charges. By John Brown* (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) New and disturbing details on the deadly shooting of a Bedouin man by an Israeli police officer have come to light, after +972's Hebrew site Local Call reported that the Police Investigations Department (PID) intends to close the case on grounds of "insufficient evidence." According to the findings, the officer in question was found to be lying in a polygraph test, and a DNA test concluded he fired the…Read More...
'It is infuriating to see a mosque destroyed. Those who destroy a mosque won't have a problem destroying my children's home.' By Michal Rotem Israeli Police officers accompanied by bulldozers destroyed a mosque Wednesday morning in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Rakhamah in the Negev Desert. [tmwinpost] Salima Azazma, one of the residents of the village, told +972's Hebrew sister site, Local Call, that "It is infuriating to see a mosque be destroyed. Those who destroy a mosque won't have a problem destroying my children's home." "I am sure that these kinds of things happening in unrecognized villages will turn…Read More... | 3 Comments
Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2015 — in chronological order. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Keren Manor, Hosam Salem, Ezz Zanoun, Anne Paq, Shiraz Grinbaum Editing: Anka Mirkin, Merieke Lauken / Activestills.orgRead More...
As we mark International Human Rights Day, it is worth challenging the myth that Israel's High Court is the defender of human rights in Israel. By Noam Rotem When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords. This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority…Read More... | 21 Comments
The residents of a Bedouin neighborhood in northern Israel are vowing to continue their public struggle against efforts to evacuate them from their land. Residents of Ramya, who live in tin shacks and sheds within the Galilee city of Karmiel, have been struggling for years against the attempt to uproot them from their homes. The state expropriated Ramya residents' land in 1976, and their efforts to thwart evacuation have been going for decades. A recent decision by the Supreme Court once again leaves residents facing the danger of demolition and forced eviction.Read More...
The Israeli government approves a plan for five new settlements in the Negev/Naqab. Rights group says the plan, like Israel's overall policy regarding its Bedouin citizens, is discriminatory. The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan for five new Jewish settlements to be built in the Negev (Naqab) in the south of Israel. The plan, which was submitted by Housing Minister Yoav Galant of Kulanu, threatens to displace thousands of Bedouin from their homes. [tmwinpost] Two of the settlements are due to be built where Bedouin villages already exist, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The…Read More... | 36 Comments
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