On the eve of the upcoming Passover and Ramadan, we would like to wish a happy and healthy Passover to the celebrants and hope that the holiday will bring insights and thoughts to an shared society, hoping for a change of policy towards the Bedouin population of the Negev/Naqab.
Towards the eve of Passover and with the start of Ramadan in about two weeks, and a fourth round of elections, the reality in the Negev seems more complex than ever. Amid a global epidemic, and without an elected government, the human rights situation of the Bedouin Arab residents in the Negev has become even more vulnerable. Ironically and unfairly, the number of house demolitions in the Negev in 2020 reached the highest number historically. This is despite the Attorney General’s order to reduce the demolition orders and the presence of the police in the Negev, in response to an urgent sent by NCF and other civil society organizations in a request to stop the demolitions during the pandemic.
The economic crisis has created severe difficulties still unresolved at a national level, that affected the Bedouin society deeply. This, mainly due to the denial of infrastructure and basic services on behalf of the State. Unemployment has raised significantly, and the state of the education is much more severe for the children of unrecognized villages compared to the rest of the country due to the lack of internet and electrical systems, that in addition to shortage in computers have make remote learning quite impossible. Although the academic year for nearly 142,000 children is lost, the State chooses to focus on repression and violence instead of responsibly investing on education and resources.
Together with this, we choose to continue to support the fair struggle of our Arab Bedouin partners and friends for real freedom and a dignified life for them and their children.
With wishes of health, Haia Noach, Executive Director
The number of demolitions in 2020 is historically the highest
In 2020, 2,586 buildings were demolished in the Bedouin villages in the Negev. This represents a rise of 13% in demolition of structures compared to 2019. Despite the humanitarian crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the highest number ever recorded of structures demolished in one year in the Arab Bedouin communities. This data was obtained from information NCF received from the Southern Administration for the Coordination of Enforcement of Land Laws.
NCF found out that in a period of only six years, 11,513 structures were demolished in the Bedouin villages in the Negev, and the number of demolitions is growing noticeably each year.
Together with the Israeli Association for Civil Rights, we contacted the authorities and demanded to stop the demolition of houses as well as the damage to the agricultural crops of the Bedouin residents in the Negev.
The photo was taken by Amal Abu Kwider, az-Zarnūg, 15.09.2020
Op-ed: the Bedouin electorate and Mansour Abbas in the 2021 elections
Photo: Oren Ziv, Tayibe, March 23, 2021
Who is Mansour Abbas and what does he have to offer to the 41,000 Bedouins in the Negev that voted for him?Abbas’ “pragmatism” (versus ideology) is directed at serving the Arabs’ citizens interest by solving structural problems, such as fighting crime and promoting housing rights in the Palestinian society. This would require advancing the recognition of the still 35 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab that do not appear on any official map and lack every type of infrastructure.
Continue reading the Op-ed by Elianne Kremer, NCF’s Research and International Relations coordinator here
NCF’s statement to the sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women
NCF has submitted a statement, gathering activities and information from our partner organizations Sidreh Association and Itach Ma’aki, under the theme is Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
In accordance with the law, the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality is proud to note that as a result of cooperation with friendly countries and international organizations that promote human rights, most of the funding for our activities comes from “foreign entities.”