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…Read More... | 12 Comments
While the Prawer Plan has made international headlines, Israel's Bedouin have suffered from dispossession and discrimination since the state was established. Such is the story of Umm al-Hiran, which will be destroyed so a Jewish town of Hiran can be built in its place. In the unrecognized Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran, 600 people are waiting for the Israeli High Court of Justice to decide their fate. Abed Abu Al-Qia'an is a 49-year-old resident of Umm al-Hiran, which Israel plans to empty and destroy in order to make way for a new Jewish town, Hiran. “The children are panicking. All the…Read More... | 14 Comments
Some 1,000 people march through the streets of Tel Aviv Saturday evening in protest of the Prawer-Begin Plan, which will see the demolition of several dozen 'unrecognized' Bedouin villages in the Negev and the uprooting of at least 30,000 residents of those villages. Alongside Tel Aviv residents, demonstrators were bused in from Arab villages and cities in the Galilee and the Negev to gather in Habima Square at sundown Saturday. The square was packed with local parents and their young children, who regularly play in the garden and who were drawn to the drums and the action of the protest. Many of…Read More... | 1 Comment
Demonstrations against the Prawer-Begin Plan continue on a second ‘Day of Rage’ with hundreds demonstrating in the Negev, and standing off with police. Omar Naammeh stood alone about 50 feet back from the concentration of approximately 700 protestors, mostly youth, on a dusty elevation overlooking Lehavim Junction, along the Tel Aviv-Beer Sheva highway, south of Rahat in the Negev. “The people here began to recognize they will lose their homeland,” said Naammeh, 60, of Beer Sheva, explaining what he believes has motived a growing number of Bedouin citizens of Israel to demonstrate against the Prawer-Begin Plan. The proposed policy would…Read More... | 10 Comments
Activists declared a "day of rage" across Israel and Palestine on August 1, the second such day of protests against an Israeli plan that would see the displacement of some 30,000 Bedouin citizens from their villages in the Negev. 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. Click here for +972′s full coverage of the Prawer Plan According to the plan, which the government did not…Read More... | 5 Comments
Poll finds Israeli public extremely misinformed on Bedouin issue, majority believes land claims to be five times bigger than they really are. Media personality and talk radio host Avri Gilad is one of the recent favorites of the Israeli right. Gilad, a Tel Aviv celebrity, has voiced extremely conservative opinions on a variety to topics, from asylum seekers to Islam. In late April, Gilad posted on Facebook his impressions from a tour to the South with the settlers non-profit group Regavim: I came back from a tour of the Negev conducted by Regavim. I am appalled by what I saw. There’s no…Read More... | 7 Comments
The implementation of the Prawer Plan for unrecognized villages in the Negev has become a major policy objective for the Netanyahu government. Following one of the most heated debates the Israeli parliament has seen in recent years, the Knesset approved the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Arrangement of Bedouin-Palestinian Settlement in the Negev yesterday (Monday). Commonly referred to as the Prawer Plan, the new legislation will allow the government to destroy dozens of so-called “unrecognized” villages in the South and remove between 30-40,000 Bedouin from their homes. According to the plan, those Bedouin citizens who have registered land claims will be offered monetary…Read More... | 11 Comments
Parties agree to put a five-year time limit on the evacuation of the unrecognized Bedouin villages. Rights groups warn that if the government plan is implemented, some 30,000 Palestinian-Bedouin will be expelled from their homes and resettled in unsuitable townships. Members of the four leading coalition parties have reached an agreement that would further cut the land designated for resettlement of the Bedouin population in the Negev (Naqeb), Israeli daily Maariv reports. Israeli governments have been working on a policy that would solve the issue of the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev for the past decade. Under the latest…Read More... | 28 Comments
By ruling that Bedouin citizens of Israel have only the right to 'minimum access' to water rather than 'equal access,' the Israeli Supreme Court established that the rule of law does not apply to Bedouin citizens. The resulting situation is intolerable for a country that claims to be a democracy, but is fitting for a country that defines itself only as a 'Jewish state.' By Sawsan Zaher On February 20, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm El-Hiran in the Naqab (Negev), demanding minimum access to drinking water. which holds 500 residents.…Read More... | 8 Comments
Jewish settlers have been camped out in an illegal settlement in the Negev (Naqab) forest of Yatir for two and a half years, waiting for the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hieran to be razed so they can move in and build an exclusively-Jewish settlement on its ruins. By Nadia Ben-Youssef Deep within Yatir Forest in the Negev (Naqab), on “this side” of the Green Line, there is a temporary settlement where 30 settler families are waiting. Waiting for the promised moment when the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hieran is destroyed; waiting for its roughly 500 residents to be forcibly displaced; and…Read More... | 51 Comments
Although the tent protests of 2011 succeeded in changing the public discourse about housing, the country's policies regarding availability, affordability, and recognition of Bedouin villages in the Negev have not changed. By Gil Gan Mor Last month, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published its annual report on the state of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The document reviews the events of the past year by focusing on the how the government's policies have affected peoples' civil, political, and economic rights. The summer of 2011 will be remembered in Israel for the massive social protests that…Read More... | 2 Comments
In September 2011, the Israeli government approved the Prawer Plan for mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) desert. If fully implemented, this plan will result in the forced displacement of tens of thousands Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel and the destruction of 35 “unrecognized” villages. According to Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, "the Israeli government’s policy is grounded in widespread myths, misconceptions and stereotypes." The document challenges some of the most widespread myths on which the Prawer Plan relies for legitimacy. Adalah - The Arab Bedouin of the Naqab -…Read More... | 9 Comments
Photos by: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen, and Keren Manor/Activestills.org Al-Araqib is one of the 45 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Since July 27, 2010, the village has been demolished 39 times. Despite daily harassment, ongoing house demolitions and the Israeli government's determination to forcefully transfer the Bedouin population out of their historical land, the residents of Al-Araqib continue to struggle. Following the 1948 War, the Bedouin population in the Negev (Naqab) Desert, in southern Israel, was forced to change its way of life. Prior to that time, Bedouins wandered freely in the deserts which are…Read More... | 6 Comments
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PHOTO: Israeli soldiers fire live ammo during Bethlehem clashes, by @activestills http://t.co/aHhSQIfwnI http://t.co/KNxtQE9FDL
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Legislation will force Israel's Arab parties to unite to stay relevant in a Knesset that never really wanted them: http://t.co/4Wzan8vOqg