- Posted September 16, 2013 by
Tel Aviv, Israel
Bedouin Minority in Israel Protests Displacement Act By The Israeli Government
A draft law, regarding the rights of the Bedouin community, passed the vote at the Israeli parliament, and sparked protest and demonstrations.
The draft is the latest phase in an ongoing land dispute between the Israeli government and the Negev Bedouin community. The Prawer plan is supposed to set the guidelines for an agreement between the parties, based on the recommendation of the previous Goldman committee from 2007, offering a solution to the problem that has been going on since the forming of the land of Israel in 1948. In return to the evacuation of Its lands, The Bedouin community is said to receive financial compensation, based on proofs of land ownership, investment in expending the already existing Bedouin town ships, the construction of new ones and a new industrial zone supplying jobs for the community, all these disregarding the Bedouin traditional way of living in tent villages and agriculture based economy. The Bedouin tribes did not join the Arab League call for a war against Israel in 1947. A big portion of these communities was displaced then to a designated reservation like area. Others have stayed in their small villages, unrecognized by the state, leading to the lack of fundamental services as clean water, electricity grid and infrastructure, as well as health and educational services. The Prawer plan suggests relocation of these communities without exceptions, ignoring the recommendations of the Goldman committee, which called for a partial recognition of some villages, and left the community leaders without any say as to these decisions. filing for recognition of land ownership is restricted by various bureaucratic procedures, which will end with destruction of many villages and forced relocation. The village El-Arakib has been destroyed recently for the 51st time, as well as many other villages.
The government policy has been criticized throughout the world. The EU parliament (EP) is demanding to stop the displacement and forced relocation. The UN committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, called for the withdrawal of the Prawer draft law and recognizes the Bedouin as the indigenous inhabitants of these disputed lands.
On July and August 2013, wide spread demonstrations were held by the coalition for the Bedouin rights and were treated by the police with harsh force and ended with dozens of arrests.
On Aug 28th, a coalition of leaders of the protest from the local Bedouin community joined by civic groups as ADALA organization which represented the case to the EU and UN, Physicians for Human Rights, Civic Justice (Tzedek Hevrati), Civil Rights Organization, political groups as HADASH and Meretz, and many other civilian supporters and activists, all gathered in Tel Aviv. After a speech rally at the HABIMA square, the protesters were marching via DIZINGOF main street, but were quickly diverted to a small Park, "Gan Meir" where they could continue the protest far from the eyes of the Saturday night's crowd .
The forced evacuation and destruction of villages had already started at El-pura, El-zarura, Atir, Tel Sheva, El Arakib and many more.
Houses were demolished by YOAV FORCE, a new police unit that was created recently for that sole purpose.