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Bedouin women rally in Jerusalem
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Bedouin women protest razing of villages
Demonstrators outside Interior Ministry say demolition of Bedouin homes in unrecognized villages shows State has 'no respect for human dignity'

Some 700 Bedouin women held a demonstration outside the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem against the uprooting of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the south.

 

"A public struggle is the only way to raise awareness of the Arab population's problems," one protestor said.

 

The demonstration followed the evacuation of the al-Arakib village over the Ramadan holiday.

 

"The systematic razing of unrecognized villages in the Negev by the authorities shows the State has no respect for human dignity or the religious customs of the area's inhabitants," said activist Hanan el-Sana.

 

"The (Bedouin) women feel that no one is hearing their cries. They feel this is the beginning of a long public campaign that will continue until the Israeli government recognizes the villages," she told Ynet.

 

"For 60 years, we have suffered in our villages without basic necessities such as water, sewage systems, and electricity, and we have also lost our traditional livelihood because of the land appropriation policy. Add to this the recent home demolitions – the situation has become intolerable."

 

At the conclusion of the rally the protestors handed a letter to Saeed Muadi, Interior Minister Eli Yishai's advisor on minority affairs, in which they listed their demands.

 

Muadi told Ynet the ministry "will do everything in its power to make things easier for the Bedouin population in the south."

 

Ibrahim al-Waqili, head of the regional council of unrecognized villages, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign "because the government is doing nothing to solve the problem of the unrecognized Bedouin villages, which has existed since before the State's inception.

 

"This conduct constitutes a blatant violation of the Arab minority's rights and it is also a violation of international law," he said.

 

 

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