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Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality
פורום דו-קיום בנגב לשוויון אזרחי
منتدى التعايش السلمي في النقب من أجل المساواة المدنية

15.2.22 Digital literacy for Bedouin women in the unrecognized villages

 

Dear friends and colleagues,

Greetings from the Naqab. The beginning of the year has been hectic and with much instability for the Bedouin indigenous residents of the Negev-Naqab. 

On January 11th, 2022, the JNF began planting trees in the surroundings of the Bedouin village of Saʿwah. The afforestation, done partly on lands that the Naqab’s Bedouin citizens have ownership claims, was done without planning approvals, and not as part of the National Outline Plan for Forest and Forestry. The plan is intended for “land conservation” and was determined by a committee of the Israel Land Administration. Furthermore, police checkpoints were set up near the Bedouin villages, preventing residents of the area from accessing crucial services such as schools and health centres.

These large aggressive operations have deepened the crisis of trust between the Bedouins citizens from the Naqab and the state. The JNF and police actions sparked massive confrontations between the Bedouin residents of the area and the Israeli police, in which more than 150 people have been arrested, including 60 minors. So far, 34 of these people were indicted, and several children are still held in custody – and some are interrogated by the Israeli Security Agency (SHABAK).

 
If you want to learn more, you are welcome to listen to our international advocacy coordinator interviewed by the Israeli Conversation Programmme
Listen here
Media Sources
 

 


 

 
Saʿwah demonstrations 13,16-01-2022, photo by Waleed Aloubra
 

 

 
Saʿwah demonstrations 13,16-01-2022, photo by Waleed Aloubra

HRDF funded the legal consultation and representation of over fifteen detainees and arrestees, including minors.  

HRDF and the NCF will continue to support Bedouin defenders active in the struggle for land rights and recognition, who face ongoing legal prosecution and harassment.

Digital literacy for Bedouin women

 
Photo by Hanan Alsanah, 14.2.22 
 
We have opened a new cycle of digital literacy for Bedouin women’s project, whose participants volunteer to coordinate rights advocacy in the villages of az-Zarnūg, al-Ġarrah, Bīr Haddāj, and Wādi an-Naʿam. After the finalization of the training, the coordinators will be able to aid men and women in their villages, to exercise their rights and help as much as possible in connecting the people of the village to receive services online. We thank NCF’s project coordinator, Nasrin Abu Kaf, for her professional leadership and commitment. 
Local Advocacy

 

Ambassador of the Palestinian Authority to France Salman Elharfi today visited a number of villages in the Negev. NCF’s Co-Director Hanan Alsanah, met with him at the Al Afinish family and introduced him to the situation in the Negev.

Photo by NCF’s staff, 9.2.2022

International Advocacy
NCF’s research and international advocacy coordinator, Elianne Kremer, attended a seminar in Geneva, Switzerland on International Advocacy and international law for NGOs organized by I’lam- the Arab Center for Media Freedom. The seminar focused on the UN Special Procedures available to civil society organizations, UN treaty bodies that review international covenants and history on the creation of the United Nations and its international mechanisms. It  was excellently facilitated by Dr. Ahmad Amara and coordinated by Deema Abo Elassal. Besides visiting the United Nations and the museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross – ICRC, Elianne met with colleagues from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Indigenous Peoples’ Center for Documentation, Research and Information and the International Movement against all kinds of Discrimination and Racism.

 
Photo by Deema Abo Elassal, 7.2.22, United Nations

 
Photo by UN Staff during the guided tour in the United Nations building.
Meeting Room of the Human Rights Council. 7.2.2022
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From the Field

 

 

Even in the cold winter, houses in the Negev continue to be demolished. On the 2nd of February, seven houses in the village of Al-Buqayʿah north of Arad were demolished. The villagers who were evicted from their lands in the Kornov area in the 1960s and moved to an area where living conditions are particularly difficult, have lived there for decades. Now in a hard and cold winter the houses are being demolished leaving women, children and the elderly homeless.

Photographer: Unknown, 2.2.2022. Al-Buqayʿah 

 

 
Photographer: Unknown, 2.2.2022. Al-Buqayʿah
 
Documentation Project

 

 
Photos by NCF’s staff members, 3.2.2022
Despite the hardships, the pandemic, and a State that constantly threatens their wellbeing, we continued working with the women from the unrecognized villages. We reinforce our belief that these women are full of strength and power.

 
Photos by NCF’s staff members, 3.2.2022
 
Al-‘Arāgīb
On January 05th, 2022, the Beer-Sheva district court gave its decision regarding the appeal hearing of a Magistrate’s court decision to convict four members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family, from the unrecognized village of Al-‘Arāgīb.
The HRDs were convicted of three charges earlier in 2019: trespass with intent to commit an offense, violation of lawful direction, and unlawful entry to public land. The court partially rejected the appeal, written by HRDF-funded lawyer, Adv. Michal Pomeranz. Concerning the HRDs conviction, the court ruled that the Magistrate’s Court was right in its factual decisions, which were based on the presented evidence. Regarding the verdict, the court partially accepted the HRDs appeal and converted the prison terms into community service terms of the same length. Read more about this decision here. 
This is an outrageous decision, criminalizing Bedouin HRDs for living on their lands. It is a vivid example of the various ways the state uses its power to harass Bedouin lives in the unrecognized villages of the Negev-Naqab: on one hand, the state stalls the lands claims legal procedures for decades; on the other hand, it criminalizes the HRDs working to progress with said claims and protect their lands.

 
 
 
February 2022
15
 
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Demolitions

22-03-22 - al-ʿArāgīb, a Bedouin village west of Route 40. The entire village was demolished for the 200 time

10-03-22 - Wādi an-Naʿam is an unrecognized village located about 4 km south of Be'er Sheva. A house was destroyed by the authorities

All Demolitions