Come and hear the case for the Bedouin of the Negev, Israeli citizens


October 9, 2011
Sarah Benton

Amnesty International UK and Jews for Justice for Palestinians invite you to:
Demolitions & Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel
The case of Al-‘Araqib

Speakers:
Dr. Awad Abu Freih – Al ‘Araqib Popular Committee & Negev Co- existence Forum
Dr Mansour Nsasra – Politics Department, Exeter University
Miri Weingarten – Jnews, Physicians for Human rights, Israel
Monday, 17 October, 7.00pm – 9.30pm
At Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA
Presentations followed by Q&A and reception

The Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib in the Negev / Naqab desert in southern Israel has been demolished by the Israeli authorities more than 20 times since July 2010. This is being done to make way for a forest, while nearly 300 Bedouin men, women and children face permanent forced eviction from their homes and land to which they have a long-established claim. Now they cannot even access the land on which they used to live, grow their crops and keep their livestock, and their olive and fruit trees have been uprooted to enable the planting of the new forest which will not benefit them.

Al-‘Araqib is one of more than 40 “unrecognized villages” in Israel whose residents, all Palestinian citizens of Israel, lack security of tenure and public services. Contrary to statements by the authorities, the residents of al-‘Araqib can document their claims to the land dating back to Ottoman times, but the Israeli government has consistently refused to recognise these claims. The villagers have initiated legal proceedings seeking recognition of their traditional land claims. However, some of their court appeals are pending even as the Jewish National Fund (JNF) continues with forestation plans over the villagers’ lands.

Other Negev Bedouin have already been hounded from land they bought and inherited, and where they lived for thousands of years as indigenous people. Forced to relocate to huge townships, rife with poverty, unemployment and crime, the Negev Bedouin have seen their land stolen to enable the establishment of Jewish settlements, agricultural projects and forests.

Israel needs to find long-term solutions to address the irregular situation of al-‘Araqib and the dozens of other unrecognized villages like it. It could start by ending its policy of demolishing these villages and take steps to officially recognise al-‘Araqib and similar villages, at least until there is a resolution to the land claims and a solution which takes into account the needs and human rights of the residents.

Tickets are free. The event will start at 7.00pm. Please ensure you reserve your tickets via one of these addresses: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/demolitions
www.amnesty.org.uk/discrimination

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Other meetings at which Dr Awad Abu Freih will speak:
Dr Awad Abu Freih heads the Chemistry Department of Sapir College in the Negev. He is also a Bedouin from Al Araqib. Dr Abu Freih coordinates a new umbrella group ‘Recognition Now’, which brings together Bedouin, Jewish and international groups who are campaigning for Bedouin land and civil rights.

11 October, Oxford, 7.30pm
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX
Organised by Oxford Palestine Solidarity Campaign

12 October, St Albans, 8.00pm
St Pauls Church (Upper Lounge), Blandford Rd, St Albans AL1 4JP.

13 October, Bedford, 7.00pm
All Saints’ Church (Parish Room), Westbourne Road, Bedford MK40 4LD.

14 October, Luton, 6.00pm
The Hat Factory, 65-67 Bute St, Luton LU1 2EY

15 October, Leamington, 5.00-7.00pm
Bath Place Community Venture, The Old Library, York Rd (entrance Avenue Road),
CV31 3PR
Organised by Justice for Palestinians-West Midlands

16 October, Gloucester, 6.45 for 7.00pm
The Friendship Café, 109-113 Barton St, GL14HR

17 October, London, 7.00-9.00pm
SEE ABOVE

18 October, Canterbury, 7.30pm
St Pauls Church Hall, Church St, CT1 1NH
Organised by East Kent Justice for Palestinians and ICAHD-UK

19 October, Bristol, 7.30pm
Room 12, St Werburghs Community Centre, Horley Road, Bristol BS2 9TJ
Organised by Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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