PRESS RELEASE: UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights vows to pressure Israel on Arab-Bedouin rights violations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2012
(Be’er Sheva, 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.