Joint Arab List launches march on Jerusalem..
(photo credit: JOINT ARAB LIST)
The Joint List set out on its “Recognition March” on Thursday from Wadi al-Na’am, an unrecognized Beduin village in the Negev and are set to arrive at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
The march is planned to last four days and pass through a number of unrecognized villages.
According to the Joint List, it was estimated that just over 300 people were participating in the march as of Thursday afternoon.
Members of the faction, including its head, Ayman Odeh, are taking part as well as various Arab community leaders and Jewish and Arab citizens.
“In the Negev today there are around 100,000 citizens without basic living conditions. Can you imagine your life without electricity? Without running water?” said Odeh at the start of the march.
Children in the unrecognized villages must travel far on bad roads to get to school, he said.
“The reality of life in the unrecognized villages is intolerable and it is the duty of all of us to fight together to create a real difference for all those citizens,” continued Odeh.
“I invite all citizens, Arabs and Jews, to join us on this journey and demand recognition for all unrecognized villages,” said Odeh, adding that he also called for more investment in the Negev.
Joint List MK Dov Henin said that despite the willingness of residents of Wadi al-Na’am, we were not able in recent years to find a solution to this intolerable state of affairs. “We cannot continue to accept this,” he said.
Upon the arrival at the president’s residence, the marchers intend to present a plan that calls for the government to officially acknowledge all unrecognized villages.
Opponents on the Right criticize such recognition efforts as too generous, saying that the state is giving away land for free for which the Beduin cannot prove ownership.
President Reuven Rivlin will not attend the ceremony, because he is flying to Singapore to attend the funeral of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. Rivlin and Odeh agreed in a phone call that the plan would be presented to him after he returns from Singapore