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
Agents of Israel's security services raid the homes of several young Bedouin activists, summon them for 'friendly chats' and attempt to coax them into suppressing protests they claim undermine the 'fundamental principles of the state.' By John Brown* It's Tuesday, just after midnight in the Bedouin town of Lakia in the Negev Desert. Black jeeps carrying approximately 15 plainclothes Shin Bet agents come to a screeching halt in front of one of the houses before bursting into it. The agents wake all the residents, including a young girl with a flashlight to her face, and take all the men outside. The men…Read More... | 22 Comments
Things have been quiet in the Negev lately. So the authorities decided to take advantage of this period of relative calm and, while everybody’s attention was elsewhere, sent the bulldozers to destroy the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Araqib — for the 90th time. By Avi Blecherman Bulldozers returned to the Israeli Bedouin village of Al Araqib on Wednesday, along with police officers and someone from the Israel Land Authority. For the 90th (!) time, bulldozers destroyed the shacks and lean-tos the villagers have been living in since the authorities destroyed their original brick homes just over five years ago. They…Read More...
Netanyahu is trying to expand the open-fire regulations so that they target Arabs inside Israel. The outcome? Only more bloodshed. By John Brown* and Michal Rotem For the past few weeks it has been difficult not to avoid reports on stone throwing in East Jerusalem. Government representatives compete with one another over who will offer up the firmest way to deal with these youth in order to "do away with this phenomenon." Of course none of them offers dealing with neglected East Jerusalem, the discrimination, the home demolitions, and the fact that 75 percent of East Jerusalem residents — and…Read More... | 2 Comments
The impulses that drove the dispossession of the 1948 war are still acted on today, on both sides of the borders it forged. “Did you know I’m afraid of sleeping? … I’m scared of sleeping and waking to find myself in a strange land whose language I can’t speak. I’m scared I won’t wake up.” —Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun There is an old Palestinian house on Ba’al HaTurim Street in Jaffa that sits quietly behind the trees. It is the kind of building that one could walk past every day and not see. I failed to notice it until…Read More... | 1 Comment
The new government, which could survive longer than most observers expect, intends to resume the implementation of the Prawer Plan, aimed to force the Bedouin Palestinian population in the "unrecognized villages" into a narrow territory. Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth government was sworn in in the nick of time. Due to last-minute controversies over cabinet positions, President Reuven Rivlin and the family members of the new ministers had to wait a couple of hours for the special Knesset session to begin. Alongside the coalition negotiations, prolonged to the very maximum allowed by the law, Thursday night serves as a reminder of the difficulties Netanayhu…Read More... | 35 Comments
In 2013, when the government shelved a plan to displace thousands of Bedouin from their villages, we rejoiced. Now, less than two years on, it's back on the table. And so is our struggle. By Huda Abu Obeid The following is what I wrote in December 2013, when then Minister Benny Begin suspended the Prawer Plan, a government-sponsored proposal to displace thousands of Bedouin citizens who live in "unrecognized" villages: [tmwinpost] "Our feeling today is of great relief. It's a victory nobody expected when we, a group of weak and disenfranchised people, faced up to one of the strongest countries in…Read More... | 3 Comments
As far as the state was concerned, not only do the indigenous people of the Negev have no right to land, they didn't even have the right to argue in court that they do. The Supreme Court rejects that position. By Michal Rotem For years, the battleground of the Negev Bedouin in Israel has existed on multiple fronts. The legal front, which is mostly hidden from the public, is one of the more important but most difficult fronts. Due to a complex web of laws designed to declare Bedouin land as state land, there have been far more losses than…Read More... | 32 Comments
While the majority of Jewish Israelis will have no problem voting on election day, some Bedouin will be forced to travel up to 40 kilometers simply to participate in Israel's democracy. By Khalil Alamour and Amjad Iraqi In the run-up to every election day in Israel, polling stations are set up in various locations in every city and town to ensure that residents have easy access to cast their votes. Most towns also have public transportation that takes residents to the stations, or to their original hometowns in other parts of the country where they are registered to vote. This…Read More... | 6 Comments
Like the failed peace process or the policy of severing Gaza from the West Bank, the plight of the Bedouin in Israel is one more long-term problem that there is just no time to solve. Two Israeli sisters, 10 and 13, were wounded yesterday by Hamas rocket fire in the Negev. One of them is in critical condition with stomach wounds and underwent emergency surgery in Be'er Sheva, according to Israeli news. Maram and Atir Wakili are Bedouin; their grandfather Ibrahim, interviewed on Channel 10, explained that they live in far-flung areas where they are unable to hear sirens. And if…Read More... | 6 Comments
The alternatives to military action shouldn’t only be examined when things blow up, but rather in the context of the months and years that preceded this latest round of fighting. When it comes to using military force, I find Netanyahu to be one of the most restrained prime ministers Israel has ever had. I don’t think Bibi wanted this escalation, nor does he believe that it serves his immediate political interests. He did give Hamas a chance for a ceasefire, and the army is escalating its attacks on Gaza very gradually – unlike in Operation Cast Lead for example, in…Read More... | 18 Comments
Following a series of high-profile protests that seemingly ended one iteration of the Prawer Plan, nobody — especially those who would be most affected — knows where the plan to displace tens of thousands of Bedouin Israelis stands today. Social TV visits two unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, Al-Araqib and Alsira, to see how people live under the threat of displacement. Read +972's full coverage of the Prawer Plan to displace Bedouin Read +972's full coverage of the Prawer Plan to displace BedouinRead More...
Like other Palestinian national days, Land Day commemorations are less about the historical event as they are reminders of things happening today. Despite years of active struggles, Palestinians are finding themselves protesting the same threats to their land rights in 2014 as they were in 1976. March 30 marks the 38th anniversary of Land Day, which commemorates the mass Palestinian demonstrations against Israel’s sweeping confiscation of Arab lands in the Galilee in 1976. But like other Palestinian national days, the commemorations are less about the historical event as they are reminders of things that are happening today. Despite years of…Read More... | 20 Comments
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