Group: Israel’s Bedouin relocation may bring violence



Maan News Agency | Sept 16, 2011

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An advocacy group for Arab-Israelis warned Thursday that Israel’s plan to rehouse Negev Bedouin communities demonstrated neglect and could spark violence.

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan to transfer Bedouins from unrecognized communities, in what it said was an attempt to integrate the population into Israeli society.

Mossawa Center said in a statement that the plan was “unilateral” and “neglects” the rights of Bedouin citizens of Israel.

The plan adopted diverged from an earlier official report, the 2008 Goldberg Commission, that recommended giving legal status to unrecognized communities and allocating 183,000 dunams for relocation, rather than the 100,000 offered in the final plan.

The Haifa-based center said the plan involves “forcibly moving two-thirds of the Bedouin population in the Negev to cramped towns which cannot support the traditional agricultural lifestyles of the Bedouin community.”

Mosawwa said a protest outside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house after the decision would be followed with more demonstrations.

“This recent development has the potential to instigate violence amongst the local Arab population,” it warned.

The relocation of Bedouins is “one more attempt by the government to eliminate the culture and way of life of Israel’s Bedouin community,” the center said.Source

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