During the last month, NCF’s staff members have been working on the field with the participants of the Yuṣawiruna project and meeting with members of the Knesset and, partner organizations, to treat and advance several topics concerning the rightful struggle of the Bedouin communities, including the recently approved decision to recognize three unrecognized Bedouin villages.
During the month of October, NCF’s Co-CEO Hanan Alsanah, met with MK Aida Touma-Suliman (Joint List) to discuss the topic of Bedouin women’s employment. NCF’s local lobby and employment coordinator, Huda Abu Obaid, met with MKs from the United Arab List, the Labour party, Meretz and the Joint List, to inform them about specific topics relating the Bedouin communities, such as the statistical gap among the Bedouin residents, the lack of daycare centers and its impact on women’s employment, and the continuing demolition of structures.
NCF will continue to work closely with the representatives and provide research-based reports and position papers, for its usage in thematic Knesset Committees and follow up governmental strategic plans to improve the living conditions of the Naqab’s Bedouin residents.
Our local lobby and employment coordinator, Huda Abu Obaid presenting the situation of women’s employment and daycare centers in the Naqab’s Bedouin society. Knesset’s Committee on the Rights of the Child. 5.10.21.
Huda Abu Obaid with MK Iman Khatib-Yasin (United Arab List), 5.10.21.
Huda Abu Obaid with MK Sami Abu Shehadeh (Joint List), 5.10.21.
Huda Abu Obaid with MK Naama Lazimi (Labor party), 5.10.21.
Huda Abu Obaid with MK Gaby Lasky (Meretz), 5.10.21.
Huda Abu Obaid with MK Ali Salalha (Meretz), 5.10.21.
Recognition of Bedouin Villages
The Cabinet approved on November 3rd, the decision to establish a ‘non-tribal’ Bedouin city in the Negev-Naqab, and the recognition of the unrecognized Bedouin villages of Khašim Zannih, ʿAbdih and Rakhamah. That decision is a fulfillment of the coalition agreement, which was signed on June 11th to include a version of that resolution. The commitment was signed by Mansour Abbas, Head of the United Arab List and representative of the party in the Knesset, Yair Lapid, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister Naftali Bennet.
While seemingly a good decision that will slightly relieve the dire need for housing in the Bedouin communities, and guarantee some basic infrastructure to thousands of them, the decision carries severe challenges and risks. Firstly, the plan asks as a requirement that at least 70% of residents of the villages be recognized to sign a consent to concentrate within the “borders” of the village in the first seven years, meaning even losing their homes in case they won’t fit in the approved masterplan as has happened before, and all of this -before the finalization of the recognition process. It is hardly feasible to require a transition of residents into the boundaries of a village that still has not yet been properly recognized, planned and provided infrastructure to.
The Negev Coexistence Forum together with Bimkom, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Sikkuy and Adalah have sent a letter to the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services, requesting to revert and modify clauses 5, 6 and 7, and reformulate the decision so that it includes a two-way dialogue and the participation of the Bedouin residents in the decision making of a plan.
The investigation of Ya’akob Abu-Al-Qi’an’s death and the Supreme’s Court decision
High Court of Justice, 9.9.21, by Odeliya Matter
The Supreme Court has rejected a petition to open a criminal investigation against police officers who shot dead Ya’akob Abu-Al-Qi’an; in January 2017. It has been almost five years since Ya’akob was shot dead by police in a Police operation planned to demolish the houses of the residents in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Ḥīrān. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and the Abu-Al-Qi’an’s family said: “We were truly disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court that chosed to rule in favor of a Judidicla system that failed to uncover the truth. The Court was presented with unequivocal evidence both for the responsibility of the police officers who led to Yaakov’s death and then to distort the events during their interrogation”
Photographers of Yuṣawiruna on a tour and workshop in Jerusalem
The photos were taken by Heidi Mottola, 2.11.21, Jerusalem
Photographers from NCF’s documentation Yuṣawiruna visited Jerusalem for a trip and a photography workshop in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the market, and the Old City.
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.”