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
Abu Saleh, a 73-year-old farmer, speaks with a raspy but strong voice as he points to his crops. “Everything you see around you is food grown from my own land. These carrots, this zucchini, these olives…they are all part of my survival.” He lifts his head, his voice starting to shake with anger. “Now they want to tear down my home and remove me from my livelihood. They want to rip my heart from my land – just to put the heart of someone else.” Abu Saleh is a resident of Ramiya, an Arab community of 50 families nestled within…Read More... | 2 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
'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
Joint List head Ayman Odeh headed to the United States this week, prompting mixed reactions from Israel's Palestinian citizens. Odeh: 'I am here to tear the mask off of Netanyahu's lies.' Perhaps I am foolish and do not understand the ambush of the Palestinian people that awaits Joint List head Ayman Odeh when he visits Uncle Sam? Perhaps the decision by Foreign Policy Magazine to choose him as a "global challenger" is really just part of a plot to bring him down? To force Odeh to swear allegiance to the flag of the state of the Jewish people? This week…Read More... | 9 Comments
Located inside Israel proper, a tent encampment belonging to residents of a yet-to-be-built Jewish town — meant to replace an existing Bedouin village — is being managed by a West Bank settler council. By Noam Rotem The state’s behavior in the saga of Umm el-Hiran, a small Bedouin village inside Israel’s sovereign borders, is in many ways reminiscent of the way it builds settlements on the other side of the Green Line, in the occupied West Bank. Expulsion orders, reneging on past promises, ignoring local leaders, ignoring the needs of the local population, and bringing in a Jewish population to…Read More...
Up against extraordinarily harsh diplomatic pressure from its closest allies, Israel seems to have found a way to save face without creating too much of a fuss — at least temporarily. With more or less the entire Western world warning Israel not to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya and forcefully displace its residents, it is no surprise that the Israeli army might be seeking a way to climb down the tree it is stuck on. So how does one announce that it might not demolish that village which it has been claiming for years has no right to exist?…Read More... | 105 Comments
Arab leaders begin four-day march across Negev to pressure Israeli government to recognize dozens of villages that lack electricity and running water. Photos: Oren Ziv, text: Yael Maron Dozens of members of the Joint List — including chairman Ayman Odeh, Dov Khenin and other future members of Knesset — marched alongside other Arab leaders Thursday on a four-day trip through the Negev/Naqab's unrecognized Bedouin villages. They were joined by representatives of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee and the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages. The march is set to end at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Sunday. Odeh, who opened…Read More... | 3 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
The village of Dahmash has been around since 1948, and its residents have the documents to prove it. The authorities, however, have been threatening the unrecognized village with demolition for years. Now residents are taking matters into their own hands and putting together a festival to bring attention to their cause. On Monday, March 16 — a day before the national elections — Israel's High Court of Justice will hear an appeal by the residents of the unrecognized village Dahmash. The village, located between Ramle and Lyd ("Lod" in Hebrew), is not recognized by any local council. The hearing could…Read More... | 4 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...
More than 10 years have passed since the Israeli government officially recognized the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj. Yet it refuses to install new infrastructure, hands out demolition orders and does everything in its power to prevent the growth of the village. Photos and text by Keren Manor / Activestills.org and Mareike Lauken We're sitting in the Adisan family's living room, viewing the video recordings of the security cameras installed by the family around its property. The videos show four men exiting two commercial vehicles and entering the family's yard. "It's as if they were breaking and entering. They didn't…Read More...
In honor of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Negev Coexistence Forum For Civil Equality and Activestills highlight the immense gaps between the recognized Bedouin villages and the Jewish towns in the Negev. The conclusion is clear: while the basic rights of the Bedouin residents have been recognized by the government, they are still violated on a regular basis. Text: Michal Rotam / Negev Coexistence Forum For Civil Equality Photos: Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org Over the past decade, the Israeli government decided to recognize 13 previously unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. While the recognition of two…Read More... | 15 Comments
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