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PHOTOS: Arabs and Jews protest planned expulsion of 1,200 Bedouin

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

Bedouin women take part in a demonstration outside the Be'er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel's Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Bedouin women take part in a demonstration outside the Be’er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: 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 “the Negev belongs to all of us — Jews and Arabs.”

Bedouin children take part in a demonstration outside the Be'er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel's Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Bedouin children take part in a demonstration outside the Be’er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh told the protesters: “We stand with the residents of the unrecognized villages and say to the government that we will not move from Umm al-Hiran and Atir! Evacuating an Arab community in order to replace it with a Jewish one is a red line and an escalation in the state’s harsh treatment of the Arab minority.

“We will not let this happen,” Odeh continued. “Recognition for unrecognized villages, building infrastructure, schools, and clinics are basic rights of every citizen.”

Members of the Knesset from the Joint List, including Ayman Odeh (center) and Dov Khenin (right) take part in a demonstration outside the Be'er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel's Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Members of the Knesset from the Joint List, including Ayman Odeh (center) and Dov Khenin (right) take part in a demonstration outside the Be’er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

MK Dov Khenin, also of the Joint List, spoke to the crowd and reminded them that “two more Arab-Bedouin villages, Al-Fur’a and Al-Za’rura, are also slated for demolition to establish a phosphate mine.”

On January 17, the Supreme Court decided not to hold another hearing on the fate of Atir and Umm al-Hiran, paving the way for the destruction of the villages and the forced evacuation of 1,200 residents to Bedouin township, Rahat. The government is planning to build a Jewish town, Hiran, on the ruins of Umm al-Hiran. Instead of Atir, the Jewish National Fund will continue to expand the Yatir Forest.

Bedouin women take part in a demonstration outside the Be'er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel's Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Bedouin women take part in a demonstration outside the Be’er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Haya Noah, Director of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, condemned the decision as “racist,” claiming that it will “deepen the rift between the communities in the Negev and harm all its residents. The Negev has enough room for everyone — Jews and Arabs.”

Arab Higher Monitoring Committee head Muhammad Barakeh (left) and leader of the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, take part in a demonstration outside the Be'er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel's Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Arab Higher Monitoring Committee head Muhammad Barakeh (left) and leader of the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, take part in a demonstration outside the Be’er Sheva District Court against the planned demolition of Umm al-Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev Desert, March 3, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The al-Qian tribe, who make up Umm al-Hiran and Atir, are facing their third expulsion since they were first dispossessed of their ancestral lands in 1949. The military government moved them to their current location, just north of the Bedouin town of Hura, in 1956.

Raed al-Qian, the chairman of the local committee, said “We are calling on the government to cancel the decision to evacuate the villages and instead recognize them where they are or on their original land. Or they can accept the residents’ suggestion of establishing a joint Jewish-Arab town, Hiran—Um al-Hiran.”

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Bruce Gould

      Hasbara Central is going to try and steer the conversation to the issue of the legality of the evacuation, so let’s start by admitting that it’s all ‘legal’. Stalins gulag was ‘legal’, apartheid in South Africa was ‘legal’, slavery used to be ‘legal’ – it’s all legal, there’s always an official piece of paper with an official stamp; look, the law is always followed! But that’s not the issue – the issue is that only people who belong to the wrong ethnic group are moved around the Israeli landscape as if they were rocks.

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        Thank you Bruce and all in one paragraph, awesome.

        “Haya Noah, Director of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, condemned the decision as “racist,” claiming that it will “deepen the rift between the communities in the Negev and harm all its residents. The Negev has enough room for everyone — Jews and Arabs.” Awesome, and only 2 sentences.

        Psalm 133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! The most awesome, one sentence.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Ginger Eis

      Number 3: The United States Of America:

      The super power of the world is at the first position in the race of rapes. Males are majorly the rapist holding a proportion of 99%. Out of all the victims, 91% are females while 9% are males. The U.S Bureau of Justice Statistics states that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male, and nearly 99% of rapists are male. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1 in 6 U.S. women and 1 in 33 U.S. men has experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. More than a quarter of college-age women report having experienced a rape or rape attempt since age 14. Out of all, only 16% of the total cases are reported. Outdoor rape is not common in USA rather most of the rape cases takes place inside homes.

      Number 4: England and Walse

      Rape in the United Kingdom is not a gender neutral offense: it is an offense that can only be committed by a male against a person. Also the UK has not to date followed the trend in many countries of classifying acts other than penetration with a penis (e.g. penetration with an object, finger) as rape. (Rape statistics United Kingdom. According to a report entitled “An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales”, released in 2013, by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Home Office; Approximately 85,000 victims of rape per year in England and Wales – 73,000 females and 12,000 males, equating to about 230 cases every day. The report stated that 1 in every 5 women has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16. (…). According to a study by the NSPCC on young people (aged between 13–18), a third of girls and 16 percent of boys have experienced sexual violence and that as many as 250,000 teenage girls are suffering from abuse at any one time. 12 percent of boys and 3 percent of girls reported committing sexual violence against their partners.

      Number 5; India

      Rape and Sexual violence is a massive problem in India. According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), crimes against women have increased by 7.5% since 2010. The number of reported rapes in India, a country of over 1.2 billion people, has gone up to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012. The majority of rape victims are between 18 years and 30 years. About one out of three victims is below 18, and one in ten rape victims is under 14. In India, a woman is raped after every 20 minutes.

      Number 6: New Zeeland

      In 2013, The Roast Busters scandal exposed the truth about rape in New Zealand. A group of young men from West Auckland, calling themselves “Roast Busters”, who allegedly sought to intoxicate underage girls to gang rape them. According to a report by British medical journal Lancet sexual assault rate in New Zealand is far higher than the world average. It placed the country at the third highest rate with 16.4 % of its female population, alongside Australia. According to the Minister of Justice Publication Report; Every two hours an attack involving sexual violence is happening in New Zealand. Statistics now suggest that 1 out of 3 girls and one out of six boys are likely to be sexually abused before the age of 16. Sexual assaults rose 15% in a year, and at schools the number doubled. Only 9 percent of sexual offences are reported (registered by police) in New Zealand. Of all the reported cases, only 13% end in a conviction. 91 % of the rapes either go unreported, or the victims are intimidated by the police to drop complaints.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        @ Moderator

        This post wasn’t meant to appear here, but on a different thread of Ms. Roth dealing with the subject. I hope all is well with your website. In any case my apologies if the mistake is from my side.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          That’s nice. Half-trying trying to blame +972 even for your comment posting mistakes, Eis. Suggesting it just might be their fault. On the pettiest scale, the same non-evidence-based insinuation that goes on here all the time about +972, leftists, blah blah blah.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      Israeli authorities demolish 183 Palestinian buildings in February:

      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/24316-israeli-authorities-demolished-183-palestinian-buildings-in-february

      The Israeli authorities demolished around 97 homes and 86 facilities in the West Bank in February under the pretext of “illegal construction”, according to a statistical report released Thursday by the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ).

      The Palestinian institute also said that demolition orders and orders to stop construction were issued to a further 139 houses and facilities.

      Reply to Comment
    4. There is a saying chickens come home to roost.

      Reply to Comment