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Israel drops controversial Bedouin relocation plan
Published Thursday 12/12/2013 (updated) 13/12/2013 10:29
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According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Prawer
plan would have forcibly evicted nearly 40,000 Bedouin and destroy
their communal and social fabric.
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel is scrapping a controversial draft law to relocate thousands of Bedouin residents of the Negev desert, an official said Thursday.

Benny Begin, tasked with implementing the so-called Prawer Plan, said he had recommended to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "end the debate on the law" in parliament.

"The prime minister accepted this proposal," he said at a Tel Aviv press conference, days after it emerged the governing coalition was divided on the proposed legislation.

The bill, which would have seen the demolition of some 40 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev and the relocation of between 30,000 and 40,000 people, passed a preliminary ministerial vote in January.

But it faced intense objection from members of the parliament both from the Right, where lawmakers said the compensation in land and money offered to Bedouins was too generous, and from the Left, which said it was racist and accused the state of usurping the land of indigenous Palestinian inhabitants.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman posted on his Facebook page that the Israeli government "should re-examine the plan and consider a far-reaching plan that would annul the benefits the Bedouin were to receive."

Following a heated debate this week at the parliamentary interior committee, coalition chairman Yariv Levin of Netanyahu's Likud party said he would not make the Prawer Plan into law.

The move comes less than two weeks after worldwide protests against the plan, during which Israeli police and soldiers clashed with demonstrators, injuring and arresting dozens across Israel and the West Bank.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the plan would have forcibly evicted nearly 40,000 Bedouin and destroy their communal and social fabric, condemning them to a future of poverty and unemployment.

Other estimates had put the number of Bedouin residents at risk at 70,000.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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1 ) Two Meanings & 1 Question / Scrapping Prawer's Plan
12/12/2013 20:53
Now the Scrapped Plan will:
1- NOT "give Negev Bedouin 180,000 dunams (45,000 acres) of state land for free, and NOT additionally grant them "compensation" for the state land many Bedouin are currently squatting on. And,
2- NOT move 30,000-40,000 Bedouins from illegal outposts and villages,
but a 3rd Issue is still unclear, namely
3- Will the 40 illegal Bedouin settlements still be demolished.

2 ) Is this good or bad? / that is
12/12/2013 20:54
will the next agreement be better or worse for beduines?

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/12/2013 21:50
'Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman posted on his Facebook page that the Israeli government "should re-examine the plan and consider a far-reaching plan that would annul the benefits the Bedouin were to receive." ' This is definitely an 'only in Israel' statement.

4 ) southparkbear / usa
12/12/2013 22:14
let's do it step by step. no need to announce small steps like removing 5-10 tents from a negev ground

5 ) James / Canada
12/12/2013 23:22
The zio-trolls that frequent these sites are clear proof that the Israelis are scared, because they know they are committing theft of the land. In decades they are quietly trying to wipe a people out. How can this nation look in the mirror? zio's are horrible, self rightoues people with a delusion of grandeur.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/12/2013 02:29
One would never guess that the Bedouin are Israeli citizens, would one?

7 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/12/2013 07:18
What's your problem, Colin? I guess you are suggesting we treat the Bedouin like you treated the American Indians. Sure, let's use your American plan. What was that, Colin? Oh yea - wipe out the most problematic tribes, then move the rest of them onto reservations, sieze their land, and build homes for white Europeans like Colin Wright. No. Unlike you, Colin, we're trying not to do that, but outside meddlers managed to screw up the plan for their own political gain. Who loses? The Bedouin.

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/12/2013 07:48
To Is this good or bad? #2: 'will the next agreement be better or worse for beduines?' That would depend on whether in Israel 'agreement' means that those affected had to agree.

9 ) Robert Haymond / Israel
13/12/2013 10:00
Israel is a democracy and MKs are free to alter their decisions as new information is brought to their attention. Now, a thorough survey of Bedouin concerns will take place. This same state feature cannot be found in any Arab nation.

10 ) Colin Wright / USA
13/12/2013 10:26
To southparkbear #4: 'let's do it step by step. no need to announce small steps like removing 5-10 tents from a negev ground' That is to say, do it the usual slimy Israeli way, huh? It would never, never do for people to see what you are up to, would it?

11 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
13/12/2013 12:44
Colin Wright's statements make it obviously that he has never been to the Negev. Colin wants to leave squatter tents located beside the poisonous Ramat Hovav toxic waste dump so Bedouin children get sick and he can blame Israel yet again. Anybody who has talked to the Bedouin involved know that most of the ones under age 45 are eager to get free land and a $25k grant to build a home that has running water, electricity and a toilet. Colin hates Israel more than he likes Bedouin. It shows.

12 ) southparkbear / usa
13/12/2013 13:08
gee, got to be careful with you colin, you are sharp, let us know how you figure that one out

13 ) Lilith / The World
13/12/2013 13:27
What a joke some people are here.Tell me something those of you who live in the US.If you built a house in a National Park on government land what would the US government do?You know damned well what they'd do.They'd kick you out & not give you land in return that's for sure.These people should have been kicked out years ago. They have multiple wives, against the law,15/20 children & live on government welfare.They build huge houses with no utilities
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