ACRI Expresses Dismay as Knesset Passes First Reading of Bedouin Settlement Bill

Bedouin village in Negev (Photo: Ronit Sela)A Bedouin village in Negev (Photo: Ronit Sela)


ACRI: the plan is belligerent process that will be a scourge for generations to come.


The Knesset plenary today (June 24) voted in favor (43 – 40) of the Bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, known as the “Begin-Prawer Plan” in its first reading. The bill will now proceed to committee.


The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights reiterate their strong opposition to the plan, which in its current form will only aggravate the alienation and discrimination of Bedouin residents of the unrecognized villages in the Negev.


The Begin-Prawer Plan, as it currently stands, will cause the displacement and forced eviction of dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Bedouin residents, dispossessing them of their property and historical rights to their lands, destroying the social fabric of their communities, and sealing the fate of thousands of families into poverty and unemployment. All of this while the government simultaneously promotes the establishment of new Jewish communities, some of which are even slated to be built on the ruins of Bedouin villages.


ACRI and Bimkom call on the government to promote planning and recognition for all the unrecognized villages in order to secure the basic rights of Negev Bedouin citizens of Israel.


Attorney Rawia Aburabia of ACRI: “For years, the Bedouin citizens have lived in villages without basic conditions while around them more and more Jewish communities are built. The government must decide whether to seek a true and just solution that facilitates the inclusion of Bedouin in the Negev as equal citizens or a belligerent plan, that only increases the alienation, hostility and poverty in these communities.”


Urban planner Nili Baruch of Bimkom: “The key to a solution to the issue of the unrecognized villages in the Negev is planning. A plan to formally recognize the unrecognized villages (such as the one initiated by the village residents themselves) will afford them their rights to education, health, adequate infrastructure, and sources of employment. Such a process would not only be the most likely to succeed, but also the most just, coming after years of neglect of the unrecognized villages, most of which have been in existence since before the state of Israel was established.”


Related Materials

  • Information Sheet: Israel Ignores Bedouin Needs with Begin Plan
  • In-depth look at the problems with the bill (prepared by Bimkom and ACRI)
  • Bill receives approval from Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs (May 6)
  • Joint letter from ACRI and Adalah to the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Begin Plan
  • Read the Begin Plan in English (unofficial translation)
  • Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights
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Categories: Arab Citizens of Israel, Negev Bedouins and Unrecognized Villages

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