On Monday 24th June 2013, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) approved the Prawer-Begin Bill after it passed its first reading in the Israeli Knesset, which is the latest episode of Israel’s discriminatory policies against the Palestinian Arab minority living inside Israel.
Upon passing its second and third readings, the bill will become valid.
The government of Israel has continuously discriminated against the Arab inhabitants in the Negev, refused to recognize their villages and deprived them of basic rights and services while it now proposes to displace tens of thousands of them from their lands and homes.
Meanwhile, Israel tried to justify its discriminatory bill by claiming that the plan’s main goal is to regulate and legalize land ownership in the Negev.
The plan in fact Arab aims at regulating Arab settlement in the Negev in order to facilitate Arab land confiscation in the Negev.
The Bill also specifies who is entitled to file land claims and what the lowest compensation for land confiscation is, which allows for the uprooting and displacement of the Bedouin residents of unrecognized villages in the Negev, who are to be transferred to permanent towns established to accommodate them but which do not fit the Bedouin way of living.
Al Mezan stresses that the Brawer plan and related Israeli government policies are intended to primarily uproot of the Arab community and steal their land in the Negev.
It attempts to worsen their life conditions and make things difficult for the Arab minority in order to pressure them to leave their towns and homes voluntarily.
Arab human rights organizations inside Israel indicate that the Brawer-Begin plan paves the way for the confiscation of more than 800,000 dunams and the displacement of more than 40,000 of the Bedouin inhabitants, distributed across tens of villages which Israel has consistently refused to recognize.
Hence, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights assures that the Brawer-Begin Bill is an exposed and outrageous attempt which is a continuation of Israel’s policies aimed at the appropriation of what has remained of Arab land in territories seized by Israel in 1948.
This can also be blatantly seen in Israel’s colonization policies in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem where Israel’s policies of land confiscation, house demolitions and forced displacement continue unabated.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues to expand already existing settlements and build more and more settlements and settlement units, acts which constitute a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law, this amidst the silence and apathy of the international community toward Israel’s practices.
Al Mezan condemns the approval of the Brawer-Begin plan by the Israeli Knesset and warns against the disastrous impact of this plan on the Arab Bedouin community in the Negev.
Moreover, in case it is implemented successfully, it will be the threshold for even a more racist system, blatantly discriminating against the Arabs, all with the aim of the establishment of a purely Jewish state at the expense of the indigenous Arab inhabitants of the land.
Therefore, Al Mezan issues a call to the international community to promptly intervene in order to stop Israel’s racist laws and practices which violate the most basic of human rights of non-Jewish inhabitants inside Israel.
Al Mezan also calls on the international community to treat Israel as it actually is, i.
an Apartheid state.
Finally, Al Mezan calls on the Palestinians living inside the occupied territories and inside Israel to start massive solidarity campaigns with the Arab minority living under Israel’s apartheid system and to escalate protest movements against the Brawer-Begin Bill.
It also calls for similar popular and legal resistance and protest acts inside Israel against Israel’s discriminatory policies.