Beduin village 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Following controversy surrounding Public Policy Department head Ehud Prower’s program for resettling the Beduin in the Negev, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has transferred responsibility for solving the Beduin issue to National Security Council chief Ya’acov Amidror.
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Beduin groups expressed skepticism over the appointment, fearing Amidror’s purported right-wing views, Israel Radio reported.
The task of formulating policy for the nation’s Beduin population, which has undergone a decadeslong process of moving from a nomadic lifestyle to a settled one, had been under the control of Public Policy Department head Ehud Prower.
Prower tried to implement the decisions regarding Beduin property and settlement that were formulated in the 2008 Committee for the Regulation of the Beduin Settlements in the Negev report. Headed by retired Judge Eliezer Goldberg, the report called on the government to recognize some 46 villages with 62,000 Beduin.
Prower worked on the program for nearly two years, with the help of dozens of of consultants, Israel Radio said. However, the plan, when published, caused a stir among right-wing MKs.
According to the program, Beduin would receive nearly 200,000 dunams of land, along with compensation for property they would not be granted – a sum amounting to billions of shekels.
But Omer Regional Council head Pini Badesh said the program would be impossible to implement, and expressed concern that the solution to the Beduin land issue would remain postponed, Israel Radio said.
The Council for Unrecognized Beduin Communities and Beduin rights groups welcomed the cancellation of the plan because, according to the groups, it had sought to transfer nearly 30,000 Beduin and and give them only half of the land they lawfully deserved.