[News] Bedouin Arabs protest forced displacement plan in Negev

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 25 12:29:31 EST 2013

  Bedouin Arabs protest forced displacement plan in Negev, southern Israel

author Monday November 25, 2013 02:11author by IMEMC Staff

A visit by several Israeli legislators to the Negev desert in southern 
Israel Sunday was met by protests organized by local residents opposed 
to the Israeli plan to forcibly remove them from their ancestral land. 
That plan has been dubbed the 'Prawer Plan', and would involve the 
forced displacement of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins who have lived 
for hundreds of years in the Negev desert, in the southern part of what 
is now Israel.

The protest on Sunday followed outbursts last week in the Israeli 
Knesset (Parliament) by several Arab Members of the Knesset. MK Ahmed 
Tibi said, ""You've gone too far. This law is a mark of Cain on the 
forehead of the Knesset, and the shame is on the forehead of every one 
of you who supports this bill. What would you do if there was a plan to 
drive you out of your homes? Any reasonable person cries out, protests, 
expresses outrage, he is angry. He responds to the aggression."

During Sunday's protest, four protesters were wounded by Israeli police 
forces who attacked the non-violent demonstration, and two were 
abducted. The abductees were identified as an employee of the al-Mezan 
Center for Human Rights, who was on the scene as a human rights 
observer, and a resident of the Bedouin village of Rafat, identified as 
Yunis Moussa Abu Abed.

The Knesset Committee whose visit prompted the protest was formed to 
implement the Prawer Plan for mass displacement of the Palestinian 
Bedouins from their ancestral homes. While Israeli lawmakers argued that 
the forced displacement was necessary, and that the Bedouins would be 
moved into reservations created by the Israeli government, the Bedouin's 
representatives pointed out that similar reservations set up by the 
Israeli government in the past have been neglected and lacking in 
infrastructure and government support.

One such Bedouin reservation was established by the Israeli government 
adjacent to the Jerusalem city dump, and thousands of Bedouins who were 
forced to move there have complained of a complete lack of facilities or 
infrastructure, and total neglect by the Israeli government. At the same 
time, the land of the displaced Bedouin families has been taken over by 
the Israeli government for the development of an airforce training site 
and other government facilities.

40,000 Palestinian Bedouins are scheduled to be forcibly displaced from 
their land by the Prawer Plan, which has been approved by the Israeli 
Knesset and only awaits implementation.

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