Nine Bedouin and Jewish activists arrested for trying to prevent JNF bulldozers from turning Al-Araqib's land into a forest. Text and photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Israeli authorities arrested nine Bedouin and Jewish activists in the unrecognized village of Al-Araqib Sunday morning as they attempted to block bulldozers from working to turn village land into a Jewish National Fund (JNF) forest. Like every other morning over the past week, JNF tractors began working the land, which has been destroyed by Israeli authorities 100 times over the past six years, in order to plant a forest in its place. The women of…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israeli authorities have for years refused to make a decision about Dahmash, leaving its residents without the most basic services and in constant fear of demolitions. Israel's High Court of Justice this week granted the state 90 days to explain its decades-long refusal to even decide whether to recognize the Palestinian village of Dahmash, located in central Israel. Being unrecognized means that residents have no legal access to basic infrastructure, planning or zoning mechanisms, and live under constant fear of demolition. The struggle for Dahmash's recognition began in 2005 when the state first began issuing orders to demolish a number of homes in the village. Since…Read More...
Al-Araqib is one of 35 'unrecognized' villages in Israel that authorities refuse to provide with water, electricity or basic infrastructure. Israeli security forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 100th time Wednesday morning. It was the second demolition during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, taking place while residents were fasting. The first demolition in the village took place almost exactly six years ago, on July 27, 2010. [tmwinpost] Al-Araqib is one of 35 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert in southern Israel, a definition which means Israel refuses to provide residents with connections to the national…Read More... | 5 Comments
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
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