Rights groups: Israel ignoring Beduin land claims

Adalah and the ACRI right letter to senior J'lem officials blasting gov't for moving forward with Praver Plan.

April 1, 2012 20:19
1 minute read.
Beduin herds sheep in Negev in front of Iron Dome

Beduin sheepherder with Iron Dome in background 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The government is ignoring Beduin claims to their land, and is moving forward intransigently with a program of displacement and relocation, two human rights organization charged in a letter sent to senior officials in Jerusalem.

Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel wrote the letter in protest to the Praver Plan, Knesset legislation addressing the issue of Beduin settlement in the Negev and unrecognized villages.

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The organizations’ sharp criticism focuses on two central issues in the plan: “the dismantling of the unrecognized villages and forced displacement and relocation of tens of thousands of residents to recognized settlements, and the recognition of Beduin ownership to lands.”

“The government is ignoring the facts and reality on the ground,” the groups charged in the letter, which was sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin, who was tasked with the procedural implementation of the Praver Plan.

The groups claim that the government has failed to consider alternatives to the plan, which was prepared by a committee headed by the former deputy chairman of the National Security Council, Ehud Praver, based on recommendations by the Goldberg Committee in 2008.

The government’s refusal to accept Beduin ties to and ownership of their land is illegal due to the right of residents to appeal eviction, the groups maintain, and will result in the displacement of tens of thousands of people from 36 unrecognized villages.

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