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פורום דו-קיום בנגב לשוויון אזרחי
منتدى التعايش السلمي في النقب من أجل المساواة المدنية

Israel Plans to Expel Thousands of Bedouins for so-called National Interest

31.01.2019

On January 28, 2019, The Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouin in the
Negev announced a plan to forcibly transfer 36,000 Bedouins living in unrecognized villages in
the Negev/Naqab . The State of Israel is promoting four separate plans on lands that have long
been home to tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel. Those these plans have been in
the works for several years, they have only recently been announced as a master plan. These
plans, which include transportation infrastructure, expansion of military fire zones, and
potentially-toxic industries , necessitate the relocation of these Bedouin from ten different
villages due to what is feigned as national interest.

 

A joint statement by NCF and the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev-RCUV

The forced eviction will begin in the next year and will be carried-out through a period of several years.
Over 10 unrecognized villages are labeled as “obstacles” in the eyes of the state for four major projects,:
the Extension of road 6 (Trans-Israel highway); Ramat Beka special industrial zone which will be held by
Elbit, a privatized Israeli weapon company; Sde Barir phosphate mine that will be developed by the major Rotem-Ampert corporation; and the expansion of Beka’at Kana’im firing zone for military purposes.

Only 7 years ago “The Prawer-Begin Plan”, offering similar relocations, ignited the Negev/Naqab and was eventually frozen due to severe objections. While Bedouins objected the forced displacement of historical villages and discrimination in land distribution, right-wing movements demanded a more acute and widespread reaction for so-called “invasion” of Bedouin communities to state land. Because this
controversial plan failed in 2011, the government has reframed it to accomplish the same goals in a less
direct way.

The Bedouin are a recognized indigenous people by the United Nations, a status which is denied by the
Israeli state. Over the past 70 years of Israeli governance, the community was a subject to
forced-urbanization, violence and discrimination particularly in regard to land rights. This population
remains today the poorest population in Israel, displaying the highest unemployment rates, and severe
problems including health care access, basic infrastructure and education. Today, less than 4% of the
Negev is occupied by Bedouin, with most living in urban settings to which they were forced to relocate.
Considering the small amount of land that Bedouin are inhabiting and the large amount of uninhabited
land available in the Negev/Naqab, the number of planned governmental projects that will negatively
impact Bedouin citizens is outrageous.

Haia Noach, Negev Coexistence Forum CEO, said: “The Bedouin are always the ones who pay the heavy price. This modus operandi will lead to a major conflict in the Negev/Naqab.”

Attia Alasam, CEO of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev-RCUV, added: “Route six could have been moved elsewhere but the state intentionally planned it, so it passes through the heart of some unrecognized Bedouin villages in order to seize the land. These plans are worse than the Prawer-Begin plan”.

Through Her Eyes: Art, Photography & Resistance

Support Arab Bedouin women photographers from Umm al-Ḥīrān present their story in New York

Demolitions

02-09-19 - al-ʿArāgīb, a Bedouin village west of Route 40. The entire village was demolished for the 157 time.

29-08-19 - al-ʿArāgīb, a Bedouin village west of Route 40. The entire village was demolished for the 156 time.

All Demolitions