New Government, new opportunities?
Dear friends and supporters,
The Bedouin struggle & NCF in the media
the emerging Israeli coalition government, which was sworn on June
13th, the United Arab List headed by Mansour Abbas negotiated among
other things, to address the plight of the unrecognized Bedouin
communities, in terms of infrastructure, access to basic services and
housing solutions. By doing so, the coalition agreement
includes the recognition of the unrecognized Bedouin villages of Khašim
Zannih, Rakhamah and ʿAbdih in the first 45 days of its term; as well
as the presentation of a plan that will propose housing solutions for
the Bedouin citizens living in unrecognized villages in the Negev, in the first nine months.
expect the new government to bring about a democratic solution for the
recognition process of the 35 unrecognized villages, quickly providing
building permits and proper infrastructure, as well as housing solutions
for the Bedouin residents. The Naqab's Bedouin citizens deserve to live
a dignified life on their historical lands, like the rest of the
The new government must eradicate the policy of eviction towards its
Arab citizens, end police violence and provide an adequate housing plan
that is participatory and sensitive of the culture, designed to promote
the wellbeing of all its citizens.
the few days before the signature of the new government's guidelines,
the demolition forces have not ceased their efforts. Just two weeks ago
they handed out 30 demolition warrants on houses in the recognized
village of Bīr Haddāj, a warrant on the house of an elderly woman in
Rakhamah (to be recognized) and demolitions happened in az-Zarnūg and
Advocating for digital equality in the Naqab
During 2020, 2,568 structures were
demolished in Arab Bedouin communities in the Naqab, of which 1,376 are
residential. Self demolitions, carried out by the owners, made up 94% of
all demolitions that year. Forced displacement and demolitions disrupt
the mental health of mothers and thousands of children living in the
Naqab. Especially during a global pandemic, recovery measures should not
be discriminatory and should leave no one behind. Read more here
|Photo by a photographer from az-Zarnūg, 2016
month, the Minister of Communications decided to exempt Bezeq (the
largest Israeli telecommunications company) from distributing fiber
optics for speedier internet throughout the country, placing economic
gain over all other social needs. This means that residents of areas
suffering the lowest quality of internet connection and an absence of
market competition, will continue to be neglected and even harmed, thus
building injustices upon existing inequality.
Given the gigantic gap of digital inequalities identified since the
Covid-19 outbreak in the Naqab, NCF sent a letter to the Ministry of
Communications demanding that Bezeq broadens its list of distribution
channels to include representation from all areas of the
country; increase the annual budget; and include all of the Arab and
Ultra-Orthodox localities to the tender of the first year. Continue reading here
violence, restrictions to freedom of protest and detentions/Naqab 2021
friends and supporters,
it seems that the fear and terror has been spread across all fronts, we
feel it is important to highlight some of the unique issues we have
seen in the Naqab, and emphasize our vision of shared society and
co-resistance against long decades of discrimination.
right-wing and police violence we have witnessed in recent weeks in
Sheikh Jarrah, Damascus Gate and the Al-Aqsa mosque, have been
replicated in the Naqab, where Palestinian Bedouin citizens joined the
struggle and demonstrations, protesting the oppression and neglectance
of the State of Israel.
only light in these times of hatred and incitement between different
communities, is the mobilizations of thousands of citizens for a shared
society. All across the Naqab we have witnessed many
inspirational initiatives, with WhatsApp groups of neighbors protecting
each other from lynches, and demonstrations calling for hope.
protest in Tal Arad Junction, with the participation of activist and
NCF's board member Khalil Alamour. 15.5.2021. By NCF’s staff members
Photos by Walid Eloubra, Rahaṭ and Šgīb as-Salām, 11.5.21
the last month, large Palestinian-led protests began to form all around
the country, and in the Naqab this came to form in mass protests
circling main highways. Bedouin protesters took main junctions in
protest of police oppression, and blocked access to main roads. Some of
these protests involved violence on behalf of the residents (setting
cars on fire and destroying light poles), who were violently repressed
by Police forces with the use of stun grenades, physical violence and
mass detentions. Thousands of Bedouins, mostly from Rahaṭ, Šgīb as-Salām and the other towns, have participated in the events.
Since May 10th there have been
over 300 detainees in Southern Israel, including Arab Bedouin residents
of the recognized and unrecognized Bedouin villages and townships
Khemed Junction, unknown photographer, May 2021
Photos by Walid Eloubra, Šgīb as-Salām, 11.5.21
reinforce our belief that there is a way out of conflict, and it is
through a shared Arab-Jewish society that will bring about grassroots
solutions to a chaotic situation encouraged by our leaders.
more than ever, we unite to step up against racism and reconstruct a
new society that raises up from the ashes of lost lives and broken
hearts, acting for a more tolerant future, where we can all live with
each other, equally and in peace.
up for the only shared Arab-Jewish space in the Negev-Naqab!
| Photo by NCF staff members
years of promoting joint Arab-Jewish collaboration and running existing
various activities together, we are forced by the Be'er Sheva
Municipality to leave the space we had called home.
We named this center the “Multaqa”, which means
encounter or meeting point in Arabic, and there throughout the years we
have built an encounter to generate knowledge, ask questions and
intercultural dialogue between Jewish and Arab communities sharing the
Naqab-Negev. Uniquely in the South, the Multaqa was the only place
where lectures, film screenings and critical debates took place, all
enabling the local population to share and broaden their perspectives
on our shared and diverse society. Together we worked towards being a
society that engages in finding common solutions to different obstacles
endured mainly by the Arab Bedouin community.
Sadly, we are at a point where we must say goodbye to the physical
platform of such diverse and rich interactions. We would like to thank
all those who organized and participated in this community during this
last decade and a half.
WE NEED YOU ONCE MORE!
Knowing that our community is mightier than the four walls, and despite
the challenges, today we are positive that we will continue growing
together down the road. For this reason,
today we are launching a crowdfunding
campaign to reopen the Multaka
Help us make a change and win the struggle
against censorship and the limitation of civil space!
wishes from NCF's staff and board members
| Photo: Mrīfeh
an-Nabārī, Tal ʿArād, 5.03.2020
On the eve of the upcoming Passover and
Ramadan, we would like to wish a happy and healthy Passover to the
celebrants and hope that the holiday will bring insights and thoughts
to an shared society, hoping for a change of policy towards the Bedouin
population of the Negev/Naqab.
Towards the eve of Passover and with the start of Ramadan in about two
weeks, and a fourth round of elections, the reality in the Negev seems
more complex than ever. Amid a global epidemic, and without an elected
government, the human rights situation of the Bedouin Arab residents in
the Negev has become even more vulnerable. Ironically and unfairly, the
number of house demolitions in the Negev in 2020 reached the highest
number historically. This is despite the Attorney General's order to
reduce the demolition orders and the presence of the police in the
Negev, in response to an urgent sent by NCF and other civil society
organizations in a request to stop the demolitions during the pandemic.
The economic crisis has created severe difficulties still unresolved at
a national level, that affected the Bedouin society deeply. This,
mainly due to the denial of infrastructure and basic services on behalf
of the State. Unemployment has raised significantly, and the state of
the education is much more severe for the children of unrecognized
villages compared to the rest of the country due to the lack of
internet and electrical systems, that in addition to shortage in
computers have make remote learning quite impossible. Although the
academic year for nearly 142,000 children is lost, the State chooses to
focus on repression and violence instead of responsibly investing on
education and resources.
Together with this, we choose to continue to support the fair struggle
of our Arab Bedouin partners and friends for real freedom and a
dignified life for them and their children.
With wishes of health, Haia Noach, Executive Director
BEDOUIN CITIZENS ARRESTED FOR PROTESTING APPROPRIATION OF THEIR
| On February 22nd, a State operation of land
ploughing of 2,800 dunams reached the villages of al-Ġarrah,
Al-Ruʾays and Saʿwah.
Residents of nearby villages and supporters participated in a
demonstration, calling for recognition of their villages, and
requesting the State to stop demolitions and ploughing of lands. 15
Bedouin citizens were arrested including a minor.
continue reading NCF and HRDF report click here
Photos by Ella Gil from Sikkuy, Naqab, 22.2.2021
rights for Bedouin women
Life and Resilience captured by Bedouin women
| We are happy to share with you a
video we produced summarizing the activities developed surrounding the
are pleased to share with you that the residents of the unrecognized
village of Khašim
Zannih have received the approval for a plan to build
temporary portable structures for educational and other
institutions, as a result to the work of Bimkon with the resudents. To
continue reading please click here
Salam Abu-Khuti I Khašim Zannih, 4.1.2017