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Report: 40,000 Bedouin will be evicted from homes under Prawer Plan

Up until now, very few details have been released about how many people and how much land will be affected by the Prawer Plan.

Bedouins and other activists shout slogans during a protest against the Israeli government’s Prawer Plan, on Road 31 near Hura, Israel, on November 30, 2013.

Knesset Internal Affairs Committee chairperson MK Miri Regev revealed details of a secret document prepared in the Prime Minister’s Office about the implementation of the Prawer Plan for the resettlement of the Negev Bedouins, Yedioth Ahronoth reported this weekend.

According to a map obtained by MK Regev, the state will take over 250,000 dunams (61,700 acres) currently populated by Bedouins, while the Bedouins will receive 170,000 dunams (42,000 acres). Around 40,000 people will have to leave their homes.

Click here to see the map

The Prawer Plan, named after retired general Uri Prawer who drafted its initial outline for the Prime Minister’s Office, intends to solve the issue of unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel’s south.

Israel never recognized its Bedouin citizens’ land claims or ownership rights. In the years following the 1948 war, The Bedouin were expelled from the western part of the Negev (Israel’s southern desert); later, most of the population was transferred to seven townships that Israel planned and built for them. The remaining Bedouin villages were deprived of infrastructure such as schools, running water and electricity. Almost 100,000 people live such unrecognized villages today.

Read +972’s full coverage of the Prawer Plan

According to the Prawer Plan, some existing Bedouin land claims and villages will be recognized, but many others rejected and their populations removed. Most of the Bedouin community rejects the plan, and demonstrations against it have been held frequently in recent months. So far, the government has refrained from telling Bedouin which areas will be evacuated and where will they be allowed to resettle.

The document revealed by MK Regev was prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office for Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party in order to get his party to support the plan. According to the agreement between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Jewish Home, the voluntary implementation phase of the plan will be limited to three years, a period after which forced evacuations should take place.

Meanwhile, criticism of the plan on the Israeli Right and among settlers is also gaining momentum. On Friday, Israeli daily Ma’ariv claimed that ministers Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman agreed to prevent the Prawer Plan from passing the second and third rounds of voting in the Knesset, claiming that the Bedouin “lost” their rights to the benefits included in the plans due to recent protests against it.

The historical truth about Bedouin expulsion from the Negev
Prawer Plan: How the natives became invaders in their own homes 

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    1. CigarButNoNice

      So 972Mag is against the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes. Interesting. I’ll save this for future reference when the idea of evacuating thousands of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria is called for here.

      (“But those are settlers! It’s justified to force them out!” Spare me. I happen to think the Arabs are the settlers on this land. We’re all advocates for ethnic cleansing here, we only differ as to who it’s justified to do it to.)

      Reply to Comment
      • Haifawi

        If it was up to me, I would just remove the state-funded guards from your home, give you a green Teudat Zehut, and wish you good luck. No evacuation necessary.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh


          Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          Great, so you’re not a two-state supporter of ethnic cleansing, you’re a one-state supporter of genocide (on the Rwanda or Yugoslavia model). I’m really spoiled for choice between the two-state saints and the one-state angels.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Removing nationals of the occupying state from occupied territory is not ethnic cleansing. Moving them into the territory in the first place is a war crime according to art. 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention and itself involves acts of ethnic cleansing.

            In fact, during the first few years of the 1967 occupation, the Supreme Court has ruled, “expropriation of private land in the Occupied Territories for the purpose of the establishment of civilian Jewish settlements are legal acts, since the settlements are part of the territorial defense system and are a temporary measures [sic] necessary for military/security needs.”

            Civilian settlements are part of a territorial defense system… right.


            “you’re a one-state supporter of genocide (on the Rwanda or Yugoslavia model).”

            There was a two-state solution in Rwanda: It’s called Burundi. For that matter, it was common for Hutu and Tutsi to intermarry and even to switch to the other group. Both groups share the same religion and language and in RPF-dominated Rwanda, any differentiation between Hutu and Tutsi is now full-stop illegal. The cause of the 1994 genocide isn’t as simple as two mutually opposing groups forced to live together.

            Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          As far as I’m concerned, anyone who wants to live in Palestine should be allowed to do so provided they accept Palestinian sovereignty, obey Palestinian laws and accept their Palestinian neighbors as equals. How many of the settlers would be open to these caveats? Probably not many, but if they do then good luck to them in Palestine; If they don’t (>90%), then welcome to Israel.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn9

      This was an expensive plan to carry out because of how much money and land would have been given to the Bedouin in compensation for the fake ownership titles they claim. Given the apparent lack of support for this plan (at least publicly) by the Bedouin the right-wing parties see no reason to reward the Bedouin for their persistent law breaking and it looks like the money will be spent elsewhere. Expect the implementation of this plan to be more gradual and far less generous to the Bedouin going forward.

      Most of the army bases are moving to the desert. There will be plenty of manpower to throw at this problem.

      Reply to Comment
    3. ‘Ma’ariv claimed that ministers Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman agreed to prevent the Prawer Plan from passing the second and third rounds of voting in the Knesset, claiming that the Bedouin “lost” their rights to the benefits included in the plans due to recent protests against it.’ : Well, not “rights.” One can’t lose land rights so easily via protest; nor has there been any report I know of serious violence by protesters. What L an B are saying is “we control the pie and can take away our beneficence.” Which, I think, says it all.

      You relate that some land claims and villages will be recognized. The question is not the outcome of recognition but the process to recognition. That process was secret and I suspect had to have violated that used for land/residency claims elsewhere in Israel. This means that the Prawer process violated equal protection of due process and is not law but political handout. Granted, the two are often difficult to disentangle, but here the difference is obvious.

      Prawer is just one more reason why the Israeli Declaration of Independence has been buried. It’s guarantee of full equality in social rights would have prevented this secrecy.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The plan was kept in secret because Benny Begin managed to throw in enough goodies in there that he got tacit acceptance from the vast majority of Bedouin tribes. The Bedouin tribes, due to political constraints, were unable to come out publicly for the plan and instead the issue was hijacked by the usual bunch of people for whom struggling against Israel was more important than the practical benefits that might be achieved from cooperation. Likewise, the Israeli right was granted minimal visibility into the plan so that they couldn’t sabotage it on the basis of how much it was giving away to the Bedouin. They might be willing to swallow the poison pill if the plan was carried through quietly, but given the violent attacks on the state at the protests the right no longer has any political incentive to go through with it.

        There is no longer any political benefit from the vast amounts of cash the Israeli government was willing to pay the Bedouin and so the plan will likely die a slow death. The Bedouin will end up the losers in all this, because their current and continued theft of land is not something that is going to be tolerated going forward.

        Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          This is complete and utter BS. Watch interviews with Bedouin about the Prawer Plan; they’re all against it. They have their own plan which is to turn their villages into Bedouin kibbutzim and moshavim. It’s unbelievable what’s going on in this country. I watched an interview with a Bedouin on Ynet and the scumbag talking head kept cutting him off, and then ended “For balance I must state that when you raise the Palestinian flag you’re raising a hand against the State of Israel” and then the interview ended. If I was a Bedouin I’d be fuming with rage, and no doubt there are young men like me who won’t see reason. There will be blood because racist, colonialist, condescending assholes like you refuse to treat these people like, well, people! They’re Israeli citizens but in a state poisoned by Zionism it means nothing. May you learn what shame is so that you may feel what every descent person feels when they read whats going on to the Bedouin. Zionists like you demand that Israel not be singled out and be treated like all the other states in the world – well, then that should start at home. I’m so livid I’m incoherent

          Reply to Comment
          • “I’m so livid I’m incoherent.” : Whether true or not in this case, it is exactly what K9 wants. There is a condescending logic of presumed largesse coupled with “it must be this way.”

            To answer him directly, it makes no difference if secrecy was imposed because of political deals or not; indeed, open hearings are designed in part to prevent such deals. As it is, you end up with individuals, not “Bedouin leaders,” who are given a fait accompli with no opportunity to present their case. I doubt this opportunity would have generated a substantially different result, for the very reason that secrecy could be imposed in the first place: the Bedouin are not full citizens under due process and equal protection. But this matters not: due process has been violated against Israeli citizens, no matter counterfactual outcomes, and this should be controlling. The plan, if executed further retracts any promise of equal protection among Israeli citizens, invariant to race or ethnicity.

            To say that the Bedouin have now “lost their rights” because of this protest “by a small hijacking violent minority,” which one now hears among some in the coalition, essentially threatens group punishment against all Bedouin for what some have done. The protection of individuals as such is far from secure in this polity. And, in any case, rights are not so easily “lost.”

            Reply to Comment
    4. Philos

      “On Friday, Israeli daily Ma’ariv claimed that ministers Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman agreed to prevent the Prawer Plan from passing the second and third rounds of voting in the Knesset, claiming that the Bedouin “lost” their rights to the benefits included in the plans due to recent protests against it.”

      The irony that two men are so racist that they would prevent the deportation of tens of thousands of citizens from their homes ought to be funny. Instead it fills me with pain and sadness. The only way to stop this evil plan is for the Palestinians in Israel, in the West Bank and in Gaza to rise up like the Egyptian and Syrian people did. No help will come from the Jews. Only calls for a violent crackdown. Alas, the Palestinians are repressed in equal measure by Israel, Hamas and the PA…

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        And when the Arabs lose once again?

        Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      On the day Prawer is implemented, the third intifada will officially begin, in my opinion. And that is EXACTLY what Netanyahu/Lieberman/Bennet want.

      Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        It looks to me like this is something YOU want. To teach all these rightists a lesson…

        Reply to Comment
        • Reza Lustig

          Well, maybe they need another lesson, another bloody nose.

          Reply to Comment