Dear diplomats and representatives,
Our hopes that the new Israeli government will carry out and promote the five-year plan for the development of the Bedouin population in the Negev and promote the development of the infrastructure and services of those villages that the last government recognized have been dashed.
In place of infrastructure development, the Bedouin communities in the Negev/Naqab are subject to ever-increasing home demolitions, fed by utilizing hi-tech cyber equipment to scan vast areas that enable the issuance of hundreds of demolition orders at a time.
Last week the Bedouins from the Negev/Naqab, along with Arab and Jewish supporters from both the Negev and other regions of Israel, held a mass protest demanding equal rights, a place at the table in every instance of planning involving their communities, and against the unacceptable practice of mass home demolitions.
We thank you for your continuing interest and support.
Negev Coexistence Forum
Updates from the field
Last week we published the data concerning home demolitions in 2022 in the Negev. 2745 structures were demolished in 2022, a 5% decline compared to 2020, which was a record year with 3004 structures that were demolished. This is still an extremely high number of building demolitions, and apparently also of the number of house demolitions which grew to more than 700 homes.
Last Thursday, 9.3.23, a demonstration protesting the home demolitions, organized by the Steering Committee of the Arabs in the Negev, the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages and Heads of Arab Municipalities in the Negev, took place in the Government Compound in Beer Sheva with approximately 1000 participants, Arabs, and Jews.
The tension between the Bedouin community and the State is evident within the community, and the tension between the community and the authorities is being felt. In preparation for the approaching Ramadan, we recommend to the Prime Minister and his staff to immediately stop the demolition of houses and the distribution of demolition and plowing orders, in order to avoid an inevitable conflict with the Bedouin population in the Negev / Naqab. Building a joint society in the Negev cannot be done while excluding the Bedouin community and at its expense. Only distributive justice, on an equal basis, and the development of the two communities that live here together will be sustainable.
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.”