‘Day of rage’ at plan for Bedouin across Palestine, Israel and Europe
Petition, then in between reports of UK protests at the Prawer plan for Bedouin there is a photo report from +972 of the ‘Day of Rage’ in Palestine/Israel.
Petition: Stop forced eviction of Negev Bedouin Click here
To Knesset Members:
We call you to vote against the Prawer-Begin bill, that will be brought to vote when Knesset resumes its work in October. The bill will forcibly displace tens of thousands of Bedouins from their homes and denies their right over 90% of their lands, on which they live since before the state of Israel was established. We urge you to follow your conscience and support a solution coordinated in cooperation with local residents instead of this discriminative bill.
Outside the Israeli embassy, London,30 November 2013. Photo by Guy Corbishley
Protesters against the Prawer Plan at Day of Rage protests outside the Negev town of Hura, November 30, 2013.
Letter, The Guardian,
November 29, 2013
Earlier this year, the Israeli knesset approved the Prawer-Begin plan. If implemented, this plan will result in the destruction of more than 35 Palestinian towns and villages in Al-Naqab (Negev) in the south of Israel and the expulsion and confinement of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins. It means forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation. The Israeli government is pushing ahead with this plan despite the Palestinian Bedouin community’s complete rejection of the plan, and condemnation from human rights groups.
Palestinians are holding mass demonstrations in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory to oppose the Prawer plan and urge international governments to take action capable of pressuring Israel to abandon the plan. The UK government emphasises that it has raised concerns about the forced displacement of Bedouin Palestinians “at the highest levels”. Yet such statements ring hollow when the UK government continues to export arms to Israel and continues its ties with the Israeli government and industry. It is time for the UK government to make its relationship with Israel conditional on respect for human rights and international law and take concrete action to hold Israel to account.
John Akomfrah OBE Artist, film director, writer, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Author, journalist
Rodney Bickerstaffe, Bidisha Writer Broadcaster Howard Brenton Playwright,
David Calder Actor,Professor Michael Chanan Author, Julie Christie Actor
Jeremy Corbyn MP, William Dalrymple Historian, author, broadcaster
Andy de la Tour Actor, Jeremy Deller Artist Brian Eno Musician,
Bella Freud Fashion designer, Peter Gabriel Musician, Antony Gormley
Trevor Griffiths Playwright, Betty Hunter, Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman MP,
Bruce Kent Peace campaigner, Jemima Khan Writer, campaigner,
Professor Tom Kibble FRS, Mike Leigh Writer, director, Ken Loach Director,
Caroline Lucas MP, Jeff McMillan Artist, Michael Mansfield QC,
Prof. Nur Masalha, Jonathan Miller KBE Author, director, broadcaster,
Professor Laura Mulvey Author, Dr. Karma Nabulsi
Dr Susie Orbach Psychoanalyst, author, Profesor Ilan Pappe Historian, author
Miranda Pennell Artist, filmmaker, Cornelia Parker OBE Artist
Michael Radford Director, Professor Jacqueline Rose Author, Professor Steven Rose,
Gillian Slovo Author Professor Avi Shlaim Historian, author,
Dr Salman Abu Sitta Historian, Professor John Smith Artist,
Keith Sonnet, Baroness Jenny Tonge, Harriet Walter DBE Actor
Marina Warner Author, historian, Jane Wilson Artist, Louise Wilson Artist,
Christine Blower General secretary, NUT
Pat Gaffney General secretary, Pax Christi, Billy Hayes General secretary, CWU
Richard Kuper Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Hugh Lanning Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite
Profesor Jonathan Rosenhead British Committee for Universities for Palestine
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
+972′s live blog follows November 30 ‘Day of Rage’ protests against the Prawer-Begin Plan, which if implemented, will forcefully displace tens of thousands of Bedouin living in the Negev desert.
By Activestills and +972 magazine staff
November 30, 2013
Bedouin, Palestinian and Israeli activists staged a ‘Day of Rage’ against the Prawer Plan Saturday afternoon, holding rallies and protests throughout Israel and Palestine, with international solidarity protests taking place in cities across the world.
The central protest took place outside the Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev desert. Over 1,000 Arab and Jewish protesters arrived from all over Israel, calling to stop the Prawer Plan, which if passed, will displace tens of thousands of Bedouin, who are citizens of the state.
Protesters were met by dozens of armoured and mounted riot police who confined the protest in a barricaded area tens of meters back from the main road.
Both sides brought horses. Mounted riot police wearing body armor and transposed next to Bedouin boys on horses at the protest outside Hura in the Negev, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
Children fly kites at the demonstration against the Prawer Plan during November 30th’s Day of Rage protest outside Hura in the Negev, November 30, 2013. The Prawer Plan, if implemented, will displace tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel. Photo by Activestills.org
Protesters outside the town of Hura in the Negev, protesting against the Prawer Plan, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org)
Younger protesters attempted to breach the police barricades but elder demonstrators, including several Arab members of Knesset, pleaded with them and for a while prevented them from doing so.
Clashes eventually broke out and police used tear gas, foul-smelling water cannons and mounted, undercover and uniformed riot police officers to disperse the crowd. As youth threw stones, riot police charged into the crowd, arresting at least 15 activists, including at least one child (will update as numbers come in). Clashes continued for some time as Bedouin youth blocked the main road with burning tractor tires.
Israeli Police arrest a protester outside the town of Hura in the Negev, where a large demonstration took place against the Prawer Plan, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
Bedouin youth block the main road outside the Negev town of Hura, where a large demonstration took place against the Prawer Plan, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
Bedouin youth burn a police trailer following clashes that ended a protest against the Prawer Plan in the Negev town of Hura, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
UPDATE (7:40 p.m.): Police were reportedly using rubber-coated steel bullets to push the remaining protesters who were still blocking the main road back into the town of Hura, arresting four. Other protesters made their way to a Negev police station where they were demanding the release of those who were arrested.
Police arrest Bedouin youths as they pushed the remaining protesters back into the town of Hura. Youth had blocked the main road for hours after a protest against the Prawer Plan, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
In the West Bank, several dozen protesters marched from Ramallah toward the encroaching settlement of Beit El. Settlement security officers fired live ammunition in the air and Israeli soldiers used tear gas to drive the protesters back toward the Jalazoun refugee camp. Three Palestinian protesters were arrested and reportedly beaten by the soldiers.
An activist is arrested by Israeli forces during a Day Of Rage protest against the Prawer-Begin Plan in front of the Israeli settlement Beit El, Al Jalazun, West Bank, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
In the Gaza Strip, roughly 100 people gathered in Palestine Square (al-Saha) to protest the plan to displace Bedouin in the adjacent Negev desert.
Isra Almodallal, spokeswoman for the Palestinian government in Gaza, addresses a rally in Palestine Square (al-Saha), Gaza City, November 30, 2013. The event is part of a global “Day of Rage” against the Prawer-Begin Plan. Photo by Joe Catron
Elsewhere, solidarity protests took place in Berlin, London, Rome, Istanbul and Belgium.
Activists stage a bicycle protest in the centre of Brussels, Belgium, as part of a global Day of Rage against the Prawer Plan, November 30, 2013. Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org
Protests in Haifa and Jerusalem began at around 4:30 p.m. local time. Around 100 people gathered at Herod’s Gate (Bab a-Zahara), where Israeli border police awaited them.
Update (8 p.m.): Police reported that 15 people were arrested in Haifa and that a police officer was stabbed and lightly wounded.
Police deploy a water cannon against anti-Prawer Plan protesters in Haifa, November 30, 2013. Photo by Keren Manor/Activestills.org
Activists demonstrate against the Prawer Plan at Herod’s Gate in East Jerusalem, November 30, 2013. Photo by Activestills.org
Activists are blocked by Israeli police during a Day Of Rage protest against the Prawer-Begin Plan, Bab A-Zahara (Herod’s Gate), East Jerusalem November 30, 2013.
Update (9:20 p.m.): Dozens gather at Jaffa’s Clock Tower to protest against the arrests of demonstrators across the country. Approximately 30 demonstrators were arrested in the Negev protest, all of whom are still in police custody. The three Palestinians arrested in the Ramallah demonstration have been released.
More than 50 public figures including Antony Gormley and Brian Eno put names to letter opposing expulsion from historic land
By Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem theguardian.com
November 29, 2013
More than 50 public figures in Britain, including high-profile artists, musicians and writers, have put their names to a letter opposing an Israeli plan to forcibly remove up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their historic desert land – an act condemned by critics as ethnic cleansing.
The letter, published in the Guardian, is part of a day of protest on Saturday in Israel, Palestine and two dozen other countries over an Israeli parliamentary bill that is expected to get final approval by the end of this year.
The eviction and destruction of about 35 “unrecognised” villages in the Negev desert will, the letter says, “mean the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation”.
The signatories – who include the artist Antony Gormley, the actor Julie Christie, the film director Mike Leigh and the musician Brian Eno – are demanding that the British government holds Israel to account over its human rights record and obligations under international law.
According to Israel, the aims of the Prawer Plan – named after the head of a government commission, Ehud Prawer – are economic development of the Negev desert and the regulation of Palestinian Bedouins living in villages not recognised by the state.
The population of these villages will be removed to designated towns, while plans for new Jewish settlements in the area are enacted.
But Adalah, a human rights and legal centre for Arabs in Israel, says: “The real purpose of the legislation [is] the complete and final severance of the Bedouin’s historical ties to their land.”
The “unrecognised” villages in the Negev, whose populations range from a few hundred to 2,000, lack basic services such as running water, electricity, landline telephones, roads, high schools and health clinics. Some consist of a few shacks and animal pens made from corrugated iron; others include concrete houses and mosques built without necessary but unobtainable permission.
The Bedouin comprise about 30% of the Negev’s population but their villages take up only 2.5% of the land. Before the state of Israel was created in 1948 they roamed widely across the desert; now, two-thirds of the region has been designated as military training grounds and firing ranges.
Under the Prawer Plan, between 40,000 and 70,000 of the remaining Bedouin – who became Israeli citizens in the 1950s – will be moved into seven over-crowded, impoverished, crime-ridden state-planned towns. The Israeli government says it is an opportunity for Bedouins to live in modern homes, take regular jobs and send their children to mainstream schools. They will be offered compensation to move, it adds.
Miranda Pennell, a film-maker and one of the letter’s signatories, said: “Citizenship counts for nothing in Israel if you happen to be an Arab. Tens of thousands of Palestinian Bedouin are being forcibly displaced from their homes and lands. At the same time, there are Israeli government advertisements on the web that promise you funding as a British immigrant to come and live in ‘vibrant communities’ in the Negev – if you are Jewish. This is ethnic cleansing.”
The actor David Calder said: “The Israeli state not only practices apartheid against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, but it seems they have no hesitation in practicing apartheid on their own citizens – in this instance, the Bedouins. When is the west going to find these actions intolerable?”
Rally in Gaza against Prawer plan