Palestinian and Arab Israeli activists are planning a ‘day of rage’ on Saturday, November 30 in support of 40,000 Bedouin-Israeli citizens currently at imminent risk of forced displacement in the Negev desert, in the South of Israel.
There are real concerns that the government proposed five year development plan, called the “Prawer Plan”, will result in the destruction of 35 ”unrecognised” Bedouin villages and the forcible eviction of their inhabitants.
Tragically, many of these communities were originally moved to their current locations following expulsion from their former homes by Israeli forces at the end of the 1948 war of independence. Despite this today they are deemed by the Israeli government to be “trespassers.” The Prawer Plan, which was created without consulting the Bedouin community, would result in the single largest act of forced displacement of Arab-Israeli citizens since 1948.
The issue of the displacement of Bedouin communities was one of the major points brought forward during Israel’s Universal Periodic Review on the 29th of October which highlighted the violation of the Bedouin’s right to adequate housing. In 2012, the UN Committee on the Elimination for Racial Discrimination also called on Israel to withdraw the proposed implementing legislation of the Prawer Plan, on the grounds that it was discriminatory. Further, in 2012 the European Parliament passed a historic resolution calling on Israel to stop the Prawer Plan and its policies of displacement, eviction, and dispossession.
Despite widespread condemnation and the mobilisation of many Israeli citizens and local NGOs, the Prawer Plan, has already passed the first of three readings in the Knesset earlier this year and could become law in the coming months.
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