- In meeting with NCF, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples vows to pressure Israel
- Demonstration against Negev Conference
- Al Arakib demolished again
In meeting with NCF, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples vows to pressure Israel
Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) representative Dr. Mansour Nasasra met privately with the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, to discuss Israeli violations of Arab-Bedouin rights in the Negev region.
Nasasra, a professor of Middle East Politics and International Relations at Exeter University, focused on Israel’s intensified efforts to displace the indigenous Arab-Bedouin from their ancestral land, and in particular, to the government’s recently passed Prawer-Amidror Plan, which would displace 30,000 Bedouin citizens from their homes and villages throughout the Negev.
“Reports from the British archives show clearly that the Bedouin paid taxes and also have land deeds; that should be enough to recognize their land ownership [today],” Dr. Nasasra told Prof. Anaya, who, in turn, promised to follow up on the situation and raise the issue with the Israeli authorities.
Nasasra also delivered a statement during the 11th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues in New York, which was attended by Anaya and government representatives from around the world. He urged the international community to intervene in order to prevent the Israeli authorities from implementing the Prawer-Amidror Plan, which will only further dispossess the Arab Bedouin of the Negev, undermine the delicate social fabric of the area and inflame Arab-Jewish relations.
Demonstration against Negev Conference
About 30 people demostrated against the fifth Conference of the Negev last week, which took place in Be’er Sheva and was organized by the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee.
According to the Ministry, the purpose of the conference was “to accelerate and strengthen the development process taking place today in the Negev in all areas of life.” While participants discussed developing industrial areas, employment opportunities and strengthening the Bedouin sector, among other things, a major issue was left out of the conference: Israel’s ongoing human rights violations and dispossession of Bedouin citizens of the Negev.
To make matters worse, when residents of Al Arakib – a Bedouin village that the Israeli authorities have demolished 35 times since July 2010 – attempted to attend the Negev Conference to raise the issues that matter to their community, they were turned away. “The conference is at the expense of the Bedouin,” said Sheikh Sayyah al-Touri, leader of Al Arakib.
In an opinion piece published by The Alternative Information Center on May 22, NCF Executive Director Haia Noach highlighted the hypocrisy of holding a conference on developing the Negev that excludes Bedouin citizens of the region. “Approximately 1,000 homes belonging to Arabs were destroyed during 2011, ie. some 6,000 souls lost everything and remained without housing security! Will this [issue] be raised at the conference? Of course not!” Noach wrote.
To read the full article, click here.
Al Arakib demolished again
The Bedouin village of Al Arakib was demolished on May 23 for the 35th time since July 2010. Activists from Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv went to the village last Sunday to show solidarity with the residents, and participated in the weekly demonstration at the junction near the village.
Click here to access NCF’s online record of home demolitions in the Negev.