Palästina - Israel 

Das Beduinendorf Al-Arakib
(der Friedhof des Dorfes hat die Koordinaten 31,346220; 34,781118)

und der Prawer-Plan

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NCF's Update from the Negev-Naqab


New report by NCF reveals: Hundreds of Bedouin houses demolished this year in the Israeli Negev, most of them in planned towns, 78% demolished by owners

The Israeli house demolition policy within the Green Line, primarily directed towards the Bedouin community in the Negev, continued during the passing year. On the International Human Right Day, the Negev Coexistence Forum published a new report, which explains the policy, presents different enforcement authorities, and reveals its scope using data from the Ministry of Interior. As such, Israel continues to deny Bedouins their right for adequate standard of living, guaranteed under a variety of international conventions.
Israeli Ministry of Interior acknowledged that 859 structures were demolished in the Southern District, most of them within Bedouin localities.There was a dramatic increase in house demolition by Bedouin owners to 78% of the total resulting from coercion by the authorities. In addition, data reveals that 54% of all demolition took place within governmental planned towns and villages that were recognized by the state, while only 46% were executed in unrecognized villages.

This data places in question the State’s intentions regarding planned towns and recognized villages, which are often used as an anchor justifying government demolition policy in the unrecognized villages. The Negev Coexistence Forum drew a conclusion that the Coordination Directorate uses the house demolition policy deliberately in order to pressure Bedouin families to move from unrecognized villages into planned towns. It issues demolition orders, reopens dormant cases and targets particular structures to pressure Bedouin families into land negotiation with the State. As a result, house demolitions serve as an instrument in the State’s struggle to annex Bedouin land.

The high increase in house demolitions by their owners also reveals an extraordinary figure – while the representatives of law enforcement authorities threaten the owners that they will bear the cost of demolitions executed by the state, the report reveals that so far only three such claims have been made by the Israeli Lands Authority, with none yet resolved in the courts. Therefore, it is actually an empty threat yet it works on the ground.

Click here for the full report


UN Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations Revealed Bedouin Rights in Israel at Risk and Government Plans to violate them even more

In its 112th session, the United Nations' Human Rights Committee adopted its concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of Israel on 28 October 2014. Among variety of other issues addressed by the Committee relating to disenfranchised groups in Israel, concluding observations directly referred to problems encountered by the Arab Bedouin community in the Negev-Naqab. The Committee expressed its concerns at Israeli policies of house demolitions and forced evictions, the Prawer Plan, and the harsh living conditions in the Bedouin recognized and unrecognized villages in the Negev-Naqab.

The Committee recommended that Israel should cease house demolitions, withdraw the Prawer Plan, and ensure participation of Bedouin communities in any planning regarding relocation of villages. Furthermore, the Committee recommended that the state of Israel should “ensure that any proposed plans for their [Bedouin] relocation take due account of their traditional way of life and, where applicable, their right to ancestral land and is carried out in accordance with relevant international human rights standards".

As part of the HRC review process of the state of Israel, the Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF) was invited to submit a list of issues and a joint report with Adalah. The report emphasized the ongoing violation of rights of Bedouin communities in the Negev-Naqab, including house demolitions and forced evictions, lack of access to services and infrastructure in recognized and unrecognized Bedouin villages, and governmental plans for settlement regulation.

Khalil Alamour, NCF board member and representative, participated in this meeting that took place in Geneva.

Minister Shamir arrived at the Knesset's Lobby for the Needs of the Bedouin Community with no news

On Monday, November 17, the Lobby for the Needs of the Bedouin Community in the Negev of the Knesset convened for a discussion with Yair Shamir, the appointed minister for settlement regulation in the Negev. Minister Shamir had no news, and mainly described the process of withdrawal of the Prawer Plan. The minister said that in his opinion, house demolitions are immoral, yet claimed that by now there is no other solution instead of this policy. When minister Shamir was asked whether there is a new relevant plan for this issue, he left the room and did not hear all the community's representatives who arrived in order to present their position.

Al-Arakib destroyed again

On Monday, November 17, police forces and bulldozers arrived at the village of Al-Arakib at 5:50 am and demolished all shacks in the cemetery compound, where its residents used to live.

The residents of the village of Al-Arakib hold a weekly protest against the ongoing demolitions of their village every Sunday in Lehavim junction at 3:30pm. Support the ongoing struggle and join the weekly protest that has taken place every week for more than 4 years!

The threat of demolition is still hovering over the residents of the village and the few shacks they live in at the cemetery compound!

After 20 Day of Detentions: The Wadi Al-Na'am Detainees were Released to House Arrest

On Tuesday, October 14, during a house demolition at the Bedouin unrecognized village of Wadi Al-Na'am, five people were arrested, four men, and the engaged young woman to whom the house belonged. After 20 days of detention, and 6 court hearings, the 5 detainees were released to a 6 weeks house arrest on high bails. The engaged young woman was sent to house arrest in the village, the other 4 young men were sent to the nearby town of Segev-Shalom. Indictments were issued against all five.

Click here to watch a video from the demolition.


Five Detained and Five Injured During a House Demolition in Wadi Al-Na'am

On Tuesday, October 14, large forces and bulldozers arrived at the unrecognized Bedouin village of Wadi Al-Na'am. Despite the court’s decision earlier that day to postpone the demolition order for the targeted house, the forces refused to wait for the residents' attorney to bring the decision and carried out the demolition. The house belonged to a young couple intending to get married within the next few weeks.

Police refusal to wait for the attorney or let the residents take belongings out of the house before the demolition, along with police violence, led to a confrontation between the forces and the residents of the village. Five people were arrested - four men, and the engaged young woman to whom the house belonged. Many were wounded, and seven were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The residents of Wadi Al-Na'am reported extreme police violence, including cursing, obscene gestures and threats, and the use of crowd control weapons including sponge bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. The shooting resulted in serious injuries to residents, including women and children.
On Wednesday, October 15, the detainees were brought to a court hearing in which it was decided to extend their detention until Sunday. On Sunday, the detention was extended again until Tuesday, October 21.

Al-Arakib update: the village was demolished

On October 1st, the Lod District Court denied the request of residents of Al-Arakib for the right to appeal the Magistrate Court’s decision. According to both decisions, the eviction of the cemetery compound will not be delayed. In addition, during Eid Al-Adha, ILA and Green Patrol vehicles arrived at the village and drove around.

As expected, demolition forces arrived at the village of Al-Arakib on Tuesday, October 14. The forces demolished all the shacks in the village, confiscated vehicles and a water tank and most of the residents' personal belongings, including mattresses and blankets. Sheikh Sayyh A-Turi, the Sheikh of the village, and two of his sons were arrested during the demolition. While one of the detainees was released within a couple of hours, the other two were released only the day after, without a court hearing.

If you are in the region: The residents of the village of Al-Arakib hold a weekly protest against the ongoing demolitions of their village every Sunday at Lehavim junction at 4:30pm. Support the ongoing struggle and join the weekly protest that has taken place every week for more than 4 years!

Thanks to You: NCF Reached the Target and the Photography Workshop will Happen!

Our crowd funding project reached its target - we managed to raise the funds needed for the upcoming photography workshop, thanks to you!
If you haven't ordered a new calendar or one of the great photos from our previous photography workshops – you have only 6 days until the project ends! – click here and check it out!

About the workshops: Every year, NCF holds a ten-day photography workshops in two  unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev-Naqab. During these workshops, children and youth learn how to use a camera and how to document life in their village. The workshop is guided by volunteer professional photographers, who expose Bedouin children to the world of photography. The amazing outcomes of the photography workshops, displayed in exhibitions throughout the world, allow the viewer to grasp and understand the Negev-Naqab and the persistent struggle of the Bedouin community through the perspective of the children living there. At the end of the workshops, participants keep the cameras and continue to document their lives and apply the knowledge they gained.

We would like to thank everyone that supported the project and made the upcoming photography workshop a reality!


Join us to make the upcoming photography workshop a reality – and receive postcards, calendars and photos taken by the children of the Negev-Naqab

Every year, NCF holds a ten-day photography workshops in two Bedouin unrecognized villages in the Negev-Naqab. During these workshops, children and youth learn how to use a camera and learn how to document life in their village. The whole workshop is guided by volunteer professional photographers, who expose Bedouin children to the world of photography. The amazing outcomes of the photography workshops, displayed in exhibitions throughout the world, allow the viewer to grasp the persistent struggle of the Bedouin community in the Negev-Naqab, through the eyes of the children living there. At the end of the workshops, participants keep the cameras and continue to document their lives and apply the knowledge they gained.

In order to arrange the upcoming workshops, we need your help and support. Without your support, we will not be able to open the workshops!

How can you support us? Please Visit our Headstart Project and choose your gift – calendars, postcards and pictures in variety of sizes taken by the children during previous workshops – and click “support”!

We thank you in advance for your kind support and ask that you help us spread the word by telling your friends and colleagues. With your help, we can meet our target and open the winter workshops!

Direct link to the project:

For further info and questions please contact Michal:

The “One Village a Week” Campaign has Started

Our Bedouin unrecognized villages documentation project is growing. Last week we issued the “One Village a Week” campaign. Every week, we will post information, photos and maps of one unrecognized village in the Negev-Naqab on Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to see Atir on the map, watch photos from the village and read about its history, current situation and future threats.

Click here and share it with your friends!

Follow our Facebook page and Twitter account to get to know One Village a Week!

House Demolitions are Back

After a long pause in house demolition in the Negev-Naqab, during the Ramadan fast and operation Protective Edge, the demolition forces are now back. Over the last couple of weeks Bedouin homes were demolished all around the Negev. The Israeli Land Administration proudly reported that in just one day, 25 structures were demolished on September 10th, 18 by its owners and 7 by the state. On another day of demolitions, on September 16th, 28 structures were demolished, 13 by its owners and the others by the state.

The Israeli Land Administration spokesperson describes these demolitions and especially the self-demolitions as “rare achievements” and “dramatic change”. With no clear plan in sight, it appears that the main policy of the authorities toward the Bedouin citizens of Israel is that of house demolitions.

The Struggle of Al-Arakib Continues: Latest Updates

On Wednesday, September 17th, a court hearing was held at the Ramla Court about an appeal made by the residents of the village of Al-Arakib, over the demolition of the structures in the village’s cemetery compound. About 20 activists joined the residents during the hearing and expressed their support in their struggle. As the hearing focused on the validity of the eviction orders of the area, and the whole structures were already demolished in the beginning of June, the judge ruled that he is not authorized to discuss some of the arguments made by the residents of Al-Arakib and decided to reject the appeal and to close the execution case of the eviction orders.

During the court hearing, the State Attorney Representative clearly expressed that the State can use a variety of laws that allows the demolition of the structures in the cemetery compound. The judge further stated that the case of eviction orders can be open again in the future.

The threat of demolition is still hovering over the residents of Al-Arakib village and the few shacks they live in at the cemetery compound.


Ministerial Committee for Bedouin Issues in the Negev Met for the first time: The Authority for the Regulation of Bedouin settlement will be Transfered to the Ministry of Agriculture 

Israeli Government resolution from June 8th 2014,  resolved to establish a Ministerial Committee for Regulating Settlement and for Socio-Economic Development of the Negev Bedouin, led by the Prime Minister. At the end of July, the Ministerial Committee met for the first time, and decided to change the name of ‘The Authority for Regulation of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev’ to ‘The Authority for Development and Settlement of the Negev Bedouin’. According to the committee’s decision, the Authority for Development and Settlement of the Negev Bedouin will be transfered to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and will work under its responsibility. Now, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will start planning a new policy that will deal with economic and social development and the regulation of settlement in the Negev.

No Shelters and Sirens for Bedouin Villages: Supreme Court Denies Urgent Petition for Immediate Protection

During operation Protective Edge, several rockets hit Bedouin villages across the Negev,two of those hits were fatal.A rocket hit at the village of Al-Makimen (July14th) severly injured two young sisters, one of them is still in the hospital.Another hit in the village of Jarba (July 19th), killed 32-year-old Udah Al-Waj, injured four of his relatives, including a baby who is still in the hospital.

On July 16th, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel issued an urgent petition to the Supreme Court, demanding an immediate protection for the Bedouin recognized and unrecognized villages in the Negev. The petition was issued in the name of a couple of Bedouin residents of the Negev, and a couple of organizations, including NCF.

On Sunday July 20th, court read its decision and stated that: "Under the circumstances it is inevitable to  reject the petition in this matter, since there was no excuse for our intervention in the operational decisions of the respondents [the state] that were received in the midst of fighting". Alongside the rejection of the petition, the judges added that "in the absence of data we decided not to refer to the ways of use of the Iron Dome. We believe that the protection of this system is based on practical considerations, without giving any weight to the appearance or non-appearance of settlements on maps". The Supreme Court denied the petition for immediate protection for the villages, yet further discussion on these issues will take place in the future.

NCF sends its condolences to the families of those killed during the operation, and wishes quick and full recovery for the injured. Although Supreme Court decision, we urge the Israeli security authorities to act immediately to protect the villages and to activate alarm systems in those areas, and for the protection of entire neighbourhoods in Jewish cities and Bedouin towns that are not protected properly.

The Struggle of Al-Arakib Continues

After the destruction of the cemetery compound of Al-Arakib on June 12th, residents of the village remained next to the cemetery, struggling in harsh conditions to stay on their lands. The extreme heat, dust, lack of homes and shelters, and police patrols all day and night did not break their spirit and ongoing struggle.

The Al-Arakib weekly protest, August 10 2014

These days, the residents are waiting for their appeal to be heard at the district court on September 17th. Although all structures, including the cemetery’s fence, were already demolished, residents claim that the eviction orders did not apply to the cemetery compound. In the meantime, residents received yet another eviction order, demanding them to clear off all their belongings from the area. That order was postponed until the appeal will be discussed.

How can you support the struggle of Al-Arakib?

  1.  If you are in the region, join Al-Arakib’s weekly protest vigil at Lehavim junction, every Sunday at 4:30 pm.
  2. Ask your country’s Ambassador to Israel to come and visit the residents of Al-Arakib and learn about their ongoing struggle.
  3. If you are in the region or planning a trip, contact us and come to visit the village of Al-Arakib.

For further details, please contact Michal:


At the time of writing the "Protective Edge" military campaign is still in full swing.  NCF urgently calls on both sides to cease the fighting and reach a negotiated agreement. 

Despite the ongoing rocket attacks on the area, the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev have no bomb shelters or other protection and warning sirens are not activated in those areas

There are dozens of recognized and unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, where tens of thousands of citizens reside. In these villages there are no sirens and no shelters for residents to hide in when rockets fall in the area.
During operation “Protective Edge” several rockets hit unrecognized villages. Two young sisters were severely injured when  rocket hit Al-Makimen, near the Lakiya township. One man aged 32 was killed and four of his relatives were injured when a rocket hit their home in the unrecognized village of Jarba, near Dimona.
On Wednesday (16.7), The Association for Civil Rights in Israel issued a petition to the Supreme Court, demanding an immediate solution for this issue. The petition was issued in the name of several Bedouin residents of the Negev, and  NGOs, including NCF, but the petition was finally rejected by the Supreme Court.

NCF calls the security authorities to act immediately to secure the villages and to activate sirens in these areas, as well as entire neighborhoods in Jewish and Bedouin towns that are not sufficiently protected. It is the responsibility of the State  to ensure the security of its citizens.

New Report by NCF Reveals: 15 “Day of Rage” Protesters are Still under House Arrest, One is still Imprisoned

NCF's new report focuses on the “Day of Rage” demonstration against the Prawer Plan and its consequences. The demonstration took place near Hura township on November 30, 2013,. Nearly seven months after the demonstration, fifteen protesters are still under house arrest, at least three of them have electronic cuffs, and another demonstrator is still in custody. The testimonies presented in the report expose harsh police violence, yet until today no policeman has been prosecuted for his actions during the demonstration.
The significance of the report is illustrated these days, as the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel face massive detentions and indictments following the protests against the murder of Mohammad Abo Khdeir and against the operation in Gaza.
Photo: Three protesters handcuffed with their faces to the ground during the demonstration. Photography: Activestills

Testimony from the report: "The policemen argued whether I'm alive or not, and my son asked me if I am alive. They struggled with the question why not just give every one of us a bullet to the head. One of them claimed that I’m dead, so the other said 'wake him up’, then they started beating me again. Suddenly they surrounded us, the kids and me, as we lay faced to the ground, then they began to sing ‘happy birthday’ and one of them peed on my head. They dragged us strangled for 350 meters to the police vehicles. When we reached the lighted area their officer said that now everything is filmed, so enough with the beatings".

NCF’s Field Coordinator was Detained

Ratb Abo Krinat, NCF’s field coordinator, was asked to present himself for interrogation last Wednesday, (July 16). An interrogation that quickly became a 24 hours arrest. Ratb was interrogated on some very severe charges, related to the protests following Mohammad Abo Khdeir’s murder, yet the police had no evidence and Ratb was released even before he was brought to court.
These false accusations and the use of arrests in order to silence and frighten activists and protesters constitute a serious danger for freedom of speech in Israel. During the passing weeks hunderds of protesters were arrested around the country and most of the, were released without charge. NCF is happy that Ratb was released, yet we call for the police to stop using false arrests in order to silence citizens.

NCF’s Board Member Khalil Alamour Participated in the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)

Photo: Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the new Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Khalil Alamour

At the beginning of July, Khalil Alamour, NCF’s board member, participated in the UN expert mechanism in Geneva. During the EMRIP, Alamour read a statement at the plenary session on the current situation and the challenges the indigenous Bedouin of the Negev encounter. He met with Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the new Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and updated her about the situation in the Negev. Ms. Tauli-Corpuz showed a great interest in this issue, asked many questions and promised to follow up and even visit the area. In addition, Alamour gave a presentation about forced displacement and urbanization imposed on the Bedouins  at a side event of the main conference.
During his visit, he also met with representatives of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern, and with representatives of the Swiss mission to the UN. In both meetings, participants were given detailed background facts and information about the current situation in the Negev.

Visit NCF's new villages project website and start to read and watch photos and videos from the Bedouin villages in the Negev-Naqab at:
Check out NCF's record of house demolitions in the Negev-Naqab


Demolitions and Arrests in Al-Arakib: Summary


Thursday, June 12: In the course of the legal proceedings in an attempt to stop the eviction orders, large forces arrived at the cemetery of Al-Arakib. When the court decided to delay the execution, the forces almost completed the destruction. All structures in the cemetery where the residents lived where demolished, water tanks were empty and taken away and the olive trees were already uprooted. The forces granted permission to finish the demolition and during the afternoon they removed the turret of the mosque in the cemetery. During the eviction of ​​the mosque area in order to remove the turret, seven people were arrested. Three minors were released at the smae night. Another activist was arrested in the morning and got released at the afternoon.
Video from the demolition by Silvia Boarini

Friday, June 13: The Five detainees were brought to court in Be’er sheva, and in the meantime dozens demonstrated outside the courthouse. The court released two of the detainees with no conditions, two were banished from the village for a week, and the arrest of one was extended until Sunday. At the evening police arrived to the village and arrested two minors, one was released that night and the other was released on the next day. Police forces remained in Al-Arakib and they stayed in the village around the clock.

Sunday, June 15: In the morning demolition forces arrived at the village of Al-Arakib and demolished a couple of shacks that were built in the area. In the court hearing of the detainee from Thursday, judge decided to extend the detention until Tuesday. During the weekly protest of the village in Lehavim junction, policemen patrolled between protesters and filmed their faces on video.

Tuesday, June 17: At the court hearing, the detainee from Thursday was released to house arrest, with the possibility to work. During the night police vans came into the cemetery.

Wednesday, June 18: In the morning demolition forces came to the village and destroyed two shacks and a shed that were built in the village. In the afternoon a group of policemen entered into the cemetery and patrolled in the area.
Over the last week Yoav unit, the special police unit that was established as part of the Prawer Plan, took  measures that were not taken before, including the frequent demolitions, the presence of policemen around the clock and the entrance to the cemetery.
The residents of Al-Arakib are determined to continue their struggle despite the demolitions, the arrests, the police harassment and the difficult conditions they live in.
For further info please contact Michal:
Visit NCF's new villages project website and start to read and watch photos and videos from the Bedouin villages in the Negev-Naqab at:
Check out NCF's record of house demolitions in the Negev-Naqab


URGENT UPDATE: the destruction of the cemetery compound:  Al-Arakib JUNE 12-13 2014


At about 10:00 Thursday morning (June 12th), local time, a large contingent of police cordoned off the village, confining residents and activists in the  cemetery’s mosque (which was not demolished),while tractors and bulldozers did their devastating work and demolished the houses of the residents in the cemetery compound. With the exception of the graves themselves, the whole compound was demolished, and a caravan used as a learning center and containers were taken away. The forces empty the village’s water tanks, that were later taken too. The rubbles were taken away by lorries, so the site is now empty.

In the early afternoon the police demanded that the area of the old mosque be evacuated in order that the consructors could demolish the improvised minaret. Several residents and activists refused and 7 people were arrested, including Rabbi Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights. Five of the detainees were not released on Thursday night and were brought to court today, while four of them were released, one will stay in jail until Sunday. During the hearings a big demonstration took place in front of the court.

The residents of Al Arakib are determined not to give up the fight for their right to their ancestral lands.  The struggle continues!


The Struggle of Al-Arakib

As reported in our last update, the residents of Al Arakib have received eviction notices requiring them to leave their lands between June 12 – July 12, 2014.

Today, Following the residents of Al-Arakib’s appeal to the court in Ramle, the eviction orders were postponed for a few days. According to the court decision, the eviction orders that are based on a court decision from 2003 does not apply to the cemetery area. From the moment that this decision will be handed to the Israeli Land Administration, they will have to response within 72 hours. This is probably just the begining of the struggle on these eviction orders.

As part of a campaign aimed at preventing the eviction, a petition has been drawn up - please sign and forward the petition to as many people and organizations as possible as well as including it on your social networking pages. We are aiming for 5,000 signatures: 10,000 would be even better!

More info about the struggle can be found here


The Supreme Court Proposes  Mediation in the Inheritors of Sheikh Sliman Al-Ukbi Appeal 

On Monday, June 2nd, a hearing in the appeal of the Inheritors of Sheikh Sliman Al-Ukbi took place at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. As the Be’er-Sheva district court did not recognize their land rights, the Sheikh’s Inheritors arrived at the Supreme Court, demanding recognition of their ownership rights over their family lands in the areas of Al-Arakib and Zhilkiye.
Photo: The Inheritors of Sheikh Sliman Al-Ukbi with their Attorney Michael Sfard
In a positive development, the Supreme Court has proposed that there be mediation between the State and the Sheikh’s Inheritors regarding their claims to lands at Al-Arakib.

Click here for a comprehensive account of this complex case and the Supreme Court hearing prepared by Professor Oren Yiftachel of Ben Gurion University and Adam Keller, spokesman for Gush Shalom.

We will be keeping you informed as the situation develops here in the Negev.


Negev Coexistence Forum Update Alert: Even the dead face eviction at Al-Arakib

Sheikh Sayach Al-Turi holds the eviction order he received

On 21 May 2014, 8 eviction orders were pasted onstructures in the cemetery at Al-Arakib and one was handed out to Sheikh Sayach Al-Turi, the Sheikh of the village. The eviction is to be effected between 12 June and 12 July - a “flexible eviction”. Some of the orders have been issued against persons who are no longer living and are buried in the cemetery, as well as against people no longer resident in the village. Despite some 63 demolitions of the village since 2010, the cemetery, with several homes and other structures within its confines, including a small improvised mosque and minaret for calling people to prayer, has so far been left untouched by the authorities. However, last March various authorities entered the perimeter and photograph the buildings for the first time.  This latest order is a new and very disturbing development with far reaching implications beyond the confines of Al-Arakib itself. It could cause a conflagration throughout the Negev.

The eviction orders the residents of Al-Arakib received

Al-Arakib, a village of some 350people went over a massive demolishion in July 2010, including its crops and water supply. The residents however, in spite of brutal police behavior, arrests and injuries did not give up and have maintained a constant presence, rebuilding their structures each time the village was demolished anew.  The Police  sew the families and has claimed over 1.8 million shekels from the residents as 'payment' for expenses they had  because of the demolition operations.  

Since that demolition in 2010 Sheikh Sayach Al-Turi, who has led the resistance to the demolitions has been frequently harassed and was  arrested several times for trespass. Sheikh Sayach was charged by the state on this issues in more than 20 court cases, and was handed several times with restraining orders preventing him from returning to the village, as have other members of his family. The firm stand of the people of Al-Arakib is not merely a symbol. It may well be that their resistance has deterred the authorities from pursuing equally draconian measures against the many other Bedouin villages under threat of demolition. 

Sheikh Sayach Al-Turi says in response:

"To all the Jews who believe in equality and that it is possible for Arabs and Jews to live together, mobilise in support of truth and justice and stand up for every Bedouin home that this racist government intends to demolish. The State tells the Bedouin: You don't have a place in the Negev, no place in Israel.  This is a great loss for the Bedouin and a great loss for the Jews. As long as there is no recognition of Bedouin rights to their lands, there will be no peace in the region, no equality and no justice.” 

There are a number of legal issues arising from the latest Order, not the least of which is the fact that the case of Al-Arakib and its land claims is still under consideration by the courts and have not been finally resolved.  NCF together with other partners will explore the legal avenues that can be pursued in an attempt to avert this disastrous edict.


The Jewish National Fund (JNF) Strikes Again!

Despite an agreement not to conduct forestry works on sites where legal decisions on their status are pending,  on May 12 2014 the JNF, accompanied by a large police contingent and several bulldozers, entered the unrecognized village of Awajan south west of the Bedouin town of Lakiya, and began preparations for forestation. The area chosen for these works, 700 dunam (some 175 acres) encroaches on land close to houses on the village perimeter.

In response to the bulldozers, villagers erected a protest tent on the forestation site but the following day (13.05) a police detail entered the village and ordered the tent to be removed. The officers were not wearing identity tags as required by law.  The villagers refused to obey and a conflict ensued during which gas and shock grenades were used to subdue the protesters. Four children, aged between 8 – 14 years were arrested. The minors were taken to a police station where they were interrogated without the presence of parent or other responsible adult as required by law.  The youngsters were released towards evening.
Atia Al-Assam, head of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages attempted to explain to one of the policemen that the JNF operation was illegal and he was also arrested, but later released. However he is barred from entering the village for 14 days.

Read about the village of Awajan on NCF’s villages project website

Awajan borders on the recognized town of Lakiya some of its houses almost come within the limits of its municipal jurisdiction.  A public committee from Lakiya is negotiating with the regional authorities and the Ministry of Defence, which has a planned intelligence base nearby, to permit the expansion of Lakiya's municipal boundaries to include the village of Awajan within its borders.  A memorandum of agreement has been signed to this effect, which has not, however, prevented the JNF from invading the village's land unilaterally.  It should be borne in mind that JNF is a so-called 'national institution', that is an arm of government. Its stated goal is the acquisition or, 'reclamation' of land for the state. Thus JNF does not function in a vacuum but is very much a part of state machinery. Yet in a surprising move, Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir has ordered Thursday a halt to the JNF activity at the village and the works were stopped Sunday morning and renewed four hours later.
On Saturday, 17 May some 30 activists made a solidarity visit to the village, organized by NCF, Adalah, RCUV, Tarabut and the Recognition Forum. They toured the village and its environs, met with residents and expressed their concern and opposition to the forestation project.

State will not Destroy the Village of Alsira: The District Court Denied State’s Appeal

In 2006, the state of Israel issued demolition orders for all of the houses of the Bedouin unrecognized village of Alsira. On the ground, such a massive demolition would erase the whole village. After a long struggle, in 2011, the magistrates court of Kiryat Gat canceled these orders. Last week, the district court of Be’er Sheva denied the state’s appeal against the decision. The judge, Tali Haimovitch, wrote:

“This is an ancient village, that was established before the establishment of the state, and since then stayed in its place with no interruption... in order to uproot 350 people from their home and make them homeless, the public interest must be significant and strong”.
Negev Coexistence Forum congratulates the residents of Alsira for this court decision, and hopes to see more and more such positive decisions in the other ongoing struggles in the Negev-Naqab.

Read about the village of Al-Sira on NCF’s villages project website

The story in “Haaretz” (Hebrew)
Interview with Kalil Alamour, resident of the village (Hebrew)


NCF's Update from the Negev-Naqab

During the Pesach/Passover holiday NCF closed its doors and took a well-earned two-week break. The holiday period was not marred by home demolitions except for Al-Arakib which was demolished for the 63rd time just prior to the festival and right after it along with other houses in the villages.
Unfortunately, Arab citizens in the North of Israel in the town of Umm Al-Fahm and the village of Furadis suffered hate crimes directed at local mosques. NCF has sent letters of solidarity to the victims and condemns the crimes themselves and the weakness of the law enforcement authorities in finding the culprits and bringing them to court.
However there has also been some good news: the Be’er-Sheva Court has rejected the State's request to destroy the entire unrecognized village of Alsira in order to build a military industrial area and an army base on its lands. The judge's decision that there is no 'urgent and immediate need' to drive 350 people from their homes is an important precedent and one that we hope will influence the fate of other threatened villages like Umm Al-Heiran and Atir.
The Minister of Health, Yael German (Yesh Atid), has rejected the plan to mine phosphate at Sdeh Barir near the town of Arad. If the quarry had become active it would have caused serious environmental pollution to thousands of residents in the area, including those in the unrecognized villages of Al-Forah and A-Za’arura. The Minister's decision is opposed by those with economic interests in the quarry as well as those with a right-wing, anti-Bedouin agenda such as the NGO Regavim one of whose stated goals is to end 'illegal possession' of land by the Bedouin.


NCF's Annual House Demolitions Report 

The Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF) has published its annual report on House Demolitions now available in English

For the full Report click here 

The report may be summarized as follows: 

During 2012 and throughout the first half of 2013, a total of 1376 homes were demolished in Israel’s southern district. Of them, 926 were demolished in 2012, with another 450 demolished by July 2013. The vast majority of these houses – namely, 1261, which constitute 91% of the overall demolished properties – were inside Bedouin villages. 

Most of the demolitions executed by Israeli authorities, 620 in total, were commissioned by administrative warrants. 551 of these, constituting 99.5% of those issued throughout the district, were delivered to the Bedouin population. 

Of all demolished houses of Bedouin citizens, about 636 homes were self-demolished by their owners. This is a result of an Israel Land Authority ( ILA) policy according to which residents are threatened to pay for the expenses of demolition of their own house. In 2013, as part of a massive wave of demolitions, entire neighbourhoods were destroyed. Unlike previous years (2011-2012), in which only stand-alone houses were destroyed, Israeli authorities have renewed demolition of entire complexes. In the unrecognized village of Atir, for instance, eight houses were demolished last May and hundreds of olive trees were uprooted in a single demolition event. 

Furthermore, in the past few years authorities have begun submitting demolition warrants for long-established structures that have been modestly renovated. As such, entire houses were demolished in response to the smallest additions. In January 2013, for example, a house was demolished in the unrecognized village of Dahiyya, north of Rahat, after three stairs were built at its doorway. Such demolitions take place even if the renovation did not result in the expansion of the property, but rather comprised replacement of a leaking roof or wall. 

Demolitions in 2013 were executed in the shadow of the Law for the Regulation of the Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, the so-called Prawer-Begin Plan, issued as a governmental directive in September 2011 and given preliminary approval by the Israeli Knesset in June 2013. As part of the plan, budgets were allocated for the establishment and administration of the “Authority for the Regulation of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev.” Significant funds were devoted to law enforcement activities, which led to the establishment of the “Coordination Directorate of Land Law Enforcement ( Hebrew acrostic MATPA), whose role is to administer and coordinate the activities of demolition enforcement bodies in the Negev. 

One of MATPA’s executive bodies is the police combat unit, “Yoav,” whose job is to supervise and enforce planning and construction laws in the Negev. Established in 2013, the unit is equipped with about 150 officers, as well as water cannons and other crowd control technologies, weapons and helicopters. Through targeted recruitment of veteran combat soldiers, the unit is expected to grow to approximately 400 policemen.  

The lack of data, confidentiality of maps, and ambiguity regarding the fate of the unrecognized villages under the Prawer-Begin-Shamir Plan is very disturbing. Such plans exist, but have been kept hidden from the public. NCF continues to monitor the situation and home demolitions in the Negev and urges the government to stop the home demolition immediately.

For the full Report click here 


For the first time:  Putting the Bedouin Unrecognized Villages of the Negev on the Map

Following the Prawer plan and other plans for settlement regulation in the Israeli Negev, the Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF) is launching a new website: The Arab-Bedouin villages in the Negev-Naqab.

On March 26 NCF will launch its documentary project of the Bedouin villages in the Negev. The project will air as an interactive, easy to operate, website which will provide information on the recognized and unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. The site offers a map, text, photos, videos and more on each village in three languages – Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Click here to visit the new website (under construction)

The Bedouin unrecognized villages do not appear on Israel’s formal maps and information concerning the villages is not available. In view of the various development plans for the area which jeopardize the existence of the villages, the different committees and plans which examine the ways to arrange the settlement in the Negev and the disinformation published in the media, the goal of NCF’s project is to bring together information on the villages where people interested in the subject can be exposed to basic information such as: location of the villages, the unique story of each village and the governmental services or more so the lack of services.

All the information for the site was gathered in cooperation with the committees of the unrecognized villages. NCF’s staff visited the villages, conducted tours in the villages with the residents and gathered with them the information presented in the website. 

The different development plans which call for concentration of the Bedouin population in order to designate the evicted lands for roads, military bases and Jewish settlements, draw their legitimacy from the general public’s lack of knowledge and acquaintance with the everyday reality of the villages.

The goal of this site is to expose the real situation on the ground and to refute the prevailing myths about the Negev, such as the argument that the Bedouin population is dispersed in the Negev and do not live in distinctive villages.

In our view, making the information available and accessible to the public is another step in the struggle between local knowledge and facts on the ground and the misinformation spread by the authorities. Moreover, it is a big step in the struggle for recognition of the unrecognized villages in the Negev.

Michal Rotem, coordinator of the project, said today: “In my opinion the most important step of the site is putting the Bedouin villages on the map. Not just a map but an interactive one which enables the users to click on each village and see for themselves the information the residents of the village chose to show. The authorities talk constantly on the ‘Bedouin dispersion’ while the site refutes this argument by exposing the villages that the authorities wish to hide. Writing the local story of each village, together with its residents, build local and cooperative knowledge, alternative to the information usually accessible to the public”.

The launching event will take place on 26 March 2014 at 5 pm  in the Multaka-Mifgash, 7 Shlomo Hamelech St., Beer Sheva. The event will include presentation of the site, meeting with the residents who took part in the project and an open discussion on the status of the Bedouin unrecognized villages in the Negev.

For details:

Michal Rotem – +972-545-851700 –


Between Discrimination and Abandonment: The Bedouin Recognized Villages and the Jewish Settlements in the Negev

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March), Negev Coexistence Forum and Activestills publish a photo report that compares between the Bedouin Recognized Villages and the Jewish Settlements in the Negev. The report reveals that while tens of thousands of housing units are planned to be built in Jewish settlements, within the Bedouin villages that were recognized by the state, the denial of building permits continues, as well as the house demolitions policy.

In 2003, when the first Bedouin regional council of Abu Basma was established by the Israeli Government, seven Bedouin villages that were recognized by the state, were brought under the council’s jurisdiction. Until 2006, another four villages gained recognition. At the same period, five Jewish settlements were established and resettled, another four are under advanced planning and establishment stages, and at least twelve more settlement are planned to be built. 

The photo report, issued by Activestills and NCF, exposes the fact that more than a decade after the recognition of the Bedouin villages, the changes on the ground are sparse. Out of eleven villages, ten are not connected to the national electricity grid and the sewage system, and in order to connect houses to the state’s water pipes, residents must lay pipes on their own expense from a central water station at the entrance to their village. In addition, the majority of the village does not enjoy a full service of garbage disposal, paved roads are to be find only in one village, and in villages with thousands of residents, only one clinic is available. Though many schools were established in the villages over the last couple of years, the shortage of classes is noticeable, and some of the pupils are still transported every morning to high schools in governmental planned Bedouin towns.

Furthermore, building permits in the Bedouin villages are almost not issued at all. Besides Tarabin A-Sana, where many building permits were issued, in Abu Krinat (pop; 1800), recognized in 2003, only three permits have so far been issued, in A-Sayyed (pop; 4000), recognized in 2006, only one permit  has been  issued. In the other eight villages no permits were issued since their recognition. Years after recognition was granted by the government, the planning authorities does not allow construction in the recognized villages. Although population growth, the residents of the villages are not able to build new houses in their villages. Therefore, new houses that are being built with no permits and houses that are being renovated are declared by the authorities as illegal, and subjected to the house demolition policy of the state, that threaten to impose the demolition costs on its dwellers.

On the contrary, Jewish settlements that are being built in the Negev enjoy the variety of services and infrastructures that the goverment provides. Tens of thousands of housing units are planned, expansions are planned for existing settlements, and new settlements are planned to be established. Furthermore, even illegal settlements and farms are regularized retrospectively. The house demolition policy is not implemented toward the Jewish population in the Negev, it is reserved only for the Bedouin villages.

On the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination 2014, the comparison between the Bedouin recognized villages and the new Jewish settlements exposes the discrimination pertains among these communities. The Israeli Government should act immediately: establish infrastructures in the villages, expand the governmental services provided, and cease the house demolitions while issuing building permits for its citizens resident there. It is inconceivable  that the government is involved with the establishment of tens of thousands of new housing units in Jewish settlement as part of a variety of additional plans that aims to move Jewish populations to the Negev area, while Bedouin citizens of the state that reside in the area for years are not provided with extremely basic services like running water and electricity.



Update from the Negev-Naqab

This has been a relatively quiet time in the Negev since arrests, demolitions and demonstrations are a way of life here.

The Revolving Door Syndrome: liberation and re-arrest


To start with some “good news” in January, the charges of one of the indictments against Aziz abu Mdigam and Haia Noach our Executive Director, that have been pending for two years, were finally dropped altogether. Rejoicing was short lived however because on 23rd January Al Arakib was destroyed once again and Eid abu Mdigam was arrested although released after 24 hours. Subsequently, both Aziz Abu Mdigam and Haia Noach were summoned by the police for questioning and Aziz was arrested, held for 48 hours and has been conditionally released, confined to the cemetery area in the eastern part of Al Arakib, and is thus cut off from the village diwan across the wadi in the west.

Solidarity with Al Arakib

On 18th January a protest march on behalf of Al Arakib was held in Rahat, with some 250 participants, followed by a meeting in Al Arakib with hundreds of people from elsewhere in Israel coming to demonstrate their solidarity. Al Arakib residents prepared a large celebrationing honor of the Naqab detainees from the “Days of Rage" demonstrations. In spite of the difficult conditions prevailing in the village, residents offered traditional hospitality to the hundreds of people who came to the ceremony. Sheikh Al Turi welcomed the guests and expressed his appreciation of their encouragement and support. 

The weekly vigil for Al Arakib continues at 16:00 every Sunday at the Rahat-Lahavim Crossroads, between Be’er-Sheva and Rahat.

Justice, Justice shall you pursue?

On January 21st the Israeli Supreme Court discussed the State's objections to Al Arakib residents' appeals against land confiscation in the District Court. 

The hearing took place before an expanded tribunal of seven Judges: Supreme Court President Asher Gronis, and judges Barak-Erez, Danziger,  Rubinstein, Naor, Nator and Amit. The State demanded the suspension of hearings at the District Courts regarding Bedouin land confiscations according to Land Acquisition law (1953), on the grounds that these appeals overload the legal system and it has to be brought to the High Court of Justice! The draconian Land Acquisition law (1953) has already accounted for the confiscation of 1,250,000 dunams (308,000 acres) from Arab citizens of Israel.

However it seems that the State's chances of success are low in this case. The residents of Al Arakib were represented by Attorney Michael Sfard.


NCF News:

  • Welcome aboard to our new International Advocacy Coordinator Ms Aisha Ziadna who will be responsible for promoting awareness of the Bedouin's struggle for equality in the international community.
  • The latest issue of the Forum's Newsletter is now available in English here.


Negev Coexistence Forum (
Dukium: "Al Arakib: A background paper about the summer of demolitions"
Dukium nach der 6. Zerstörung im Oktober: ergänzt (Anfang Nov. noch nicht im Internet)
Haaretz: Reclaiming the desert  (27.8.10)
The Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev (RCUV), Website seit 2008 nur unvollständig betreut.
Videos der Zerstörungsaktionen: youtube, 10.8.10 ; youtube, 14.9.10