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Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality
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منتدى التعايش السلمي في النقب من أجل المساواة المدنية

Police violence, restrictions to freedom of protest and detentions/1.6.21


Police violence, restrictions to freedom of protest and detentions/Naqab 2021

 

 

Dear friends and supporters,

While it seems that the fear and terror has been spread across all fronts, we feel it is important to highlight some of the unique issues we have seen in the Naqab, and emphasize our vision of shared society and co-resistance against long decades of discrimination.

The right-wing and police violence we have witnessed in recent weeks in Sheikh Jarrah, Damascus Gate and the Al-Aqsa mosque, have been replicated in the Naqab, where Palestinian Bedouin citizens joined the struggle and demonstrations, protesting the oppression and neglectance of the State of Israel.

The only light in these times of hatred and incitement between different communities, is the mobilizations of thousands of citizens for a shared society. All across the Naqab we have witnessed many inspirational initiatives, with WhatsApp groups of neighbors protecting each other from lynches, and demonstrations calling for hope.

A protest in Tal Arad Junction, with the participation of activist and NCF’s board member Khalil Alamour. 15.5.2021. By NCF’s staff members

Protests-violence-Police-detentions

Photos by Walid Eloubra, Rahaṭ and Šgīb as-Salām, 11.5.21

During the last month, large Palestinian-led protests began to form all around the country, and in the Naqab this came to form in mass protests circling main highways. Bedouin protesters took main junctions in protest of police oppression, and blocked access to main roads. Some of these protests involved violence on behalf of the residents (setting cars on fire and destroying light poles), who were violently repressed by Police forces with the use of stun grenades, physical violence and mass detentions.  Thousands of Bedouins, mostly from Rahaṭ, Šgīb as-Salām and the other towns, have participated in the events.

Since May 10th there have been over 300 detainees in Southern Israel, including Arab Bedouin residents of the recognized and unrecognized Bedouin villages and townships

Khemed Junction, unknown photographer, May 2021

Photos by Walid Eloubra, Šgīb as-Salām, 11.5.21

 

 

 

On May 11th, a demonstration in front of Ben Gurion University has been an opportunity for Jewish right wing groups to gather and threaten Palestinians, sadly with police protection and support. The police used stun grenades and pushed the protesters to enter the University’s dormitories to “protect” them from the potential harm perpetuated by the Jewish extremists. 
Eight students were detained and while five were released, three remained in custody and are being charged with assaulting police officers, disruption, causing disorder and violence. All the hearings that are now being held in the Be’er Sheva District Court and related to their indictments soon to be delivered. 

You can watch the video produced by the students above
and read the testimony of an activist here

 

During the protests (held in Rahaṭ, al-Lagiyyih, Šgīb as-Salām), where protesters blocked several main highways, the Police limited the movement of most of the Bedouin residents, as well as the freedom of protest of Bedouin residents. The road blockage by the Police affected most of the Bedouin villages and also residents of two Jewish cities

 

At NCF, we are working closely with other civil organizations to provide protesters with information about freedom of protest and access to legal representation

In the last month, a number of missiles have fallen in the unrecognized villages in the Negev, which only miraculously did not cause harm to the lives of the residents. Iron Dome does not intercept missiles aimed at areas of the unrecognized villages in the Negev, as they are considered “open areas”. Also, all the Bedouin villages, recognized and unrecognized, lack safe structures like shelters, which puts the lives of thousands of Bedouin residents at risk.

Together with a number of organizations, we appealed to the Minister of Defense and the Home Front Command in a letter demanding the protection of the Naqab’s Bedouin residents with the “Iron Dome”, as well a request to place shelters in all Bedouin villages in the Negev, both recognized and unrecognized.



June 2021
10

Ten days left!

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We reinforce our belief that there is a way out of conflict, and it is through a shared Arab-Jewish society that will bring about grassroots solutions to a chaotic situation encouraged by our leaders.

Now more than ever, we unite to step up against racism and reconstruct a new society that raises up from the ashes of lost lives and broken hearts, acting for a more tolerant future, where we can all live with each other, equally and in peace. 

Thank you!

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Demolitions

19-04-21 - al-ʿArāgīb, a Bedouin village west of Route 40. The entire village was demolished for the 186 time

08-04-21 - Umm Batīn, a recognized village south-east of Route 60. 50 dunams were ploughed and one fence was destroyed

All Demolitions