The Abraham Fund Initiatives made an urgent request to the government to protect the Negev Beduin population against rockets from Gaza.
The NGO, which strives for integration and equality of Arab citizens, wrote a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Thursday, saying most Beduin areas lack public bomb shelters, as only some schools and mosques serve that purpose. “Tens of thousands of citizens who live in unrecognized villages are totally exposed and lack any protection. When the siren sounds, they have no choice but to lie on the ground,” the letter said.Recent research said the Arab sector in general has a low level of readiness for emergency situations. “The Abraham Fund is trying to get the government to provide equal services to Arabs and Jews, but unfortunately the state is not doing enough.
Today, 200,000 Beduin in the Negev are exposed to rockets,” Thabet Abu Rass, co-executive director of the fund, told The Jerusalem Post. Asked if there are any bomb shelters in Beduin areas, Abu Rass responded that some schools are being used but not all of them, because they are closed for the summer vacation. The situation is “grave in the unrecognized villages,” where there are no protection services, he said, adding that some of these communities are close to the Gaza Strip. “We demand that the government put up temporary shelters, since the rockets from Gaza do not differentiate between Arab and Jew,” he said.