Rachelle Friesen, an MCC peace development worker in Palestine, writes about a plan to forcibly expel Bedouin from their homes in Israel in the MCC Palestine blog.
Since the seventh century the Arab Bedouin community has been living in the Negev. Yet, in the last 60 years the Bedouin have faced harsh discriminatory tactics as Israel tries to push them off their land in order to build Jewish settlements, military centers, and forests. Even though they are citizens of Israel, the Bedouin communities have been denied official recognition, thus denying them public access to running water, paved roads, sewage treatment, education, healthcare, and building permits thus resulting in endless home demolitions. Despite the hardships, the Bedouin have remained on their ancestral land.
On June 24, 2013, the Israeli Knesset approved the implementation of the Prawer Plan. The Prawer Plan seeks the destruction and relocation of 35 Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev. This would see the displacement of 70,000 Bedouin Citizens of Israel forced into government designated communities.