Report: Thousands protest plan to remove Beduins

Demonstrations take place in Beersheba against Prawer-Begin plan, which activists say will displace Bedouin families in Negev.

June 13, 2013 18:40
1 minute read.
DEMONSTRATORS AGAINST Prawer-Begin plan outside Knesset, May 28, 2013

DEMONSTRATORS AGAINST Prawer-Begin plan outside Knesset 370. (photo credit: (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Thousands demonstrated in Beersheba on Thursday in protest against the proposed Prawer-Begin plan to regulate Beduin settlement in the Negev, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

The Prawer-Begin plan is to be presented as a bill to the Knesset within 10 days. The current plan calls for legalizing 63 percent of Beduin claimed land.

A Ma’an reporter stated that the demonstrators waved Palestinian flags outside a government complex in the center of Beersheba.

According to the report, large numbers of police were deployed in the area as minor clashes broke out between protestors and police.

Ma'an stated that several Arab members of Knesset joined the rally, including mayors, heads of local councils and MK's, including MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al).

Tibi has stated previously that "Arabs in the Negev were here, living here, we didn't come in boats or planes."

Tibi has consistently decried the demolition of Beduin homes and "arbitrary" laws.

The protest follows Wednesday's press conference, held by a delegation described as an independent fact finding mission, along with Beduin community representatives at the Knesset.

The main two issues found by the mission were a lack of basic services and an unequal application of the law when compared to Jewish communities.

Balad MK Basel Ghattas, a co-founder of Adalah, the legal center for Arab minority rights, which is also a key NGO fighting for Beduin land claims in the Negev, said: “I and other MKs explained the consequences of the law and that we think it is very harmful to the community and will lead to the displacement of tens of thousands of people and the demolition of many villages."

Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.

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