Isreali demolitions of Bedouin homes continues in Negev Desert

(Negev) Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages, November 1, 2007

Home Demolitions today in the Negev – the Government of Israel demolished 15 homes.


Last week the government came to demolish the tents of the village of Twail Abu-Jarwal, and returned again the next day and again this Sunday – just to harass the residents.

This morning, November 1, 2007, scores of police and governmental vehicles entered the Bedouin villages of A-Sir and Wadi Naam in order to demolish homes.

In A-Sir they demolished five homes. A-Sir is just south of the city of Beer Sheva and right by the Bedouin town of Shgib a-Salam. The head of the municipality of Shgib offered to add the villagers to his town. The villagers are interested, but the government is not.

img_0554.jpgIbrahim al-Walidi built a home for his disabled son, so that he could marry. With a home of his own he has more of a chance of finding a wife, despite his disabilities. But today the Government of Israel shattered his dreams. The first born son of Musa Abu-Hbik built a tin shack with all the money he had, preparing for his upcoming wedding. The government demolished his home – and his wedding. In another of the demolished homes 15 people lived, now they are homeless…

In Wadi Naam the government demolished ten homes. One man has been volunteering for the Israeli Border Patrol for years. He built his son a home, preparing for the upcoming wedding. Evidently, his contribution to The State is of no importance , as now all the rest of the village members know. The village of Wadi Naam is located by Ramat Hovav – Israel’s toxic chemical waste dump. The villagers have been pleading and demanding for years to move away from this location. After many years of petitioning to the courts, negotiations, and work it seems that they are about to come to an agreement with the government on a new location for the village. The villagers are anxious to move.

If so – what is the real aim of the home demolitions?

Last Wednesday they came – for the 11th time – to destroy the tents of the village of Twail Abu-Jarwal. This was not enough – they returned the next day to place new demolition orders on the tents that had been re-erected. They arrested a man. Then they agreed to free him only after he signed a statement saying he will never return to his village.

They came again this Sunday. A seven-year-old boy ran after one of the police cars. They caught the child, beat him and tore his clothes. One of the Green Patrol men beat a girl, when she fell to the ground he stepped on her. Aqil al-Tallalqa, the village head and his sister, a woman in her fifties, were arrested. The village people called Hssein al-Rafaia, the head of the RCUV, MK Taleb a-Sana and the mayor of the town of Laqia to intervene. Only then did the police and the governmental official agree to leave. When they were asked what was the purpose of their “visit”, they said they wished to “register the tents…”

The villagers of Twail abu-Jarwal, like the villagers of A-Sir and Wadi Naam wish to come to agreements with the government. Help by writing letters to the governmental official, so that they realize that the residents of the unrecognized villages are not standing on their own!

During the Ramadan the government destroyed a well used by Bedouin Shepherds by spilling gasoline and used oil into it. the well is located in the middle of a remote and very dry area – Bir Hapir – between Mitzpeh Ramon and Nitzana. A person who depends on the well will find himself stranded without water, and may even perish. During the last spring the Israel military filled the well with gravel. The Bedouin shepherds worked for days using buckets to clean out the well. This time it may not be possible to clean…

For more information: Dr. Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages. +972 54 7487005

Write letters!

The Authority for the “Advancement” of the Bedouins is responsible for finding appropriate solutions for the villages, and also for home and tent demolitions.

Ilan Yeshurun is the director. Tel: 08 623 4182. fax: 6271259 08.

This authority sits in the Israel Land Authority: Yeshurun’s boss is Yaakov Efrati, the Director of the Israel Land Authority. Tel: 6208300 02, fax: 6241286 02

The minister in charged of the Israeli Land Authority is Zeev Boim, the Minister of Housing and Construction. Tel: 02 6408439, fax: 02 6496062 , email:

The demolition orders had been given and signed by Dudu Cohen, Director of the Southern Region, Ministry of Interior: Fax: 08 6231951     tel: 08 6263888

Minister of Interior, Meir Shitrit: Tel: 02 6408410     Fax: 02 6496672    Email:

Write to your representatives, or to the closest Israeli embassy!

4 Responses to “Isreali demolitions of Bedouin homes continues in Negev Desert”

  1. 1 mlyon01 December 8, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    In a related matter, Independent Media Center, Israel, reports on Israeli Army shooting of Palestinian kids in November 2007

    For three months now, IDF soldiers have been provoking pupils at the school in the Palestinian village ‘Azzun (some 10 km east of the Green Line). Almost daily, the soldiers arrive with a jeep near the school, before it ends. If any pupil throws stones, they impose a curfew on the whole village.

    Two weeks ago, two stun grenades were thrown into the school yard during studies.

    On 9th November, the soldiers caught a boy, beat him up, and took him for arrest.

    The next day they entered an internet cafe, where they beat and arrested four youngsters.

    On 13th November, they announced that they would use live ammunution on children throwing stones.

    On Sunday, 18th November, an IDF jeep entered the school yard, stopping at the main building. Teachers who went out to ask the soldiers to leave were threatened with weapons aimed at them. The villagers suspect that the provocations are being made to prove to the Supreme Court a security need for construction of the “fence” there, that will block the exit of Road 55.

    On Thursday, 15th November, 2007, police forces demolished two houses in the Bedouin village Tel-‘Arad. One had just been built and was still uninhabited. The other was home to a family of eight people.

    The police also demolished the home of seven people, in the Bedouin village El-Za’arura, and another uninhabited house there.

    Questions & queries:

  2. 2 sim50 December 10, 2007 at 12:11 am

    It is disheartening and abominable to use intimidation and severe subhuman measure to threaten a people whose identity remains an anamoly. Bedouins do not have a national identity persay and that is due to the nature of their lifestyle. But bedouins have gone far beyond the norm of the logical, the acceptable and yes even the legal. They apted to live, most likely on a piece of land that is neither their own nor any of their ancestors, if any. Bedouins are a people on the move. They move to feed their camles, their sheep and their donkeys. But to assert onesself as being a landlord is something that should not be accepted or dealt with lightly. Israel has captured Palestine by help extended from foreign powers and Arab treason. Bedouins have done the same thing; landed on a piece of land, put a tent but gradually that tent became a document by which bedouins began to fight claiming it to be theirs…Palestinians whose country and homes and destiny, all have been taken away, usurped, have not been as disgraceful as bedouins have been. Today, bedouins live on land taken from its proprietors; by the Israeli “out of touch symphathisers” and were simply given to the bedouins. Today, bedouins have become the worst nightmare to the village of Aizaria. With their strange and often times awkward social behaviour, they are of a nuisance to everyone. They are a breed of people fully armed with weapons that have been used against the Arab population of Aizaria. (and this no accusation)
    When writing about human rights vis a vis the bedoiuns I pray that we are competent enough to deal with an issue that is very controversial. But one thing must be stated here: bedouins serve in the IDF. Their behaviour is rather savage and subhuman, and often times they are placed to face the armless, hopeless and helpless Palestinian people. What is more disturbing is that they speak Hebrew to conceal their own identity. If a solution is to be found is to let know that they are a people on the move, and that staying on a piece of land does not necessarily means that it becomes theirs to possess. We live in the 21st. I suppose.

  3. 3 mlyon01 December 12, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Sim50, I’ve got to say, this sounds so much what was said about the Indians in the US. In both cases, you wonder, what is the historical background of all this? From reading Charles Mann’s book 1491, Europeans saw Indians as savages whereas Mann presents the “savages” as survivors of once-flourishing societies that were all but wiped out. Is there a parallel with the Bedoiuns? Who knows what Indian-European co-existance-intermingling could have looked like, but where the US ruling class model was manifest destiny, there’s no way it could work out well and part of the not-well was inter-tribal savagery. Is that the context to see Bedoiun-Palestinian conflict? On the other side of the coin, didn’t blacks and Seminoles work together pretty well in north Florida?

  4. 4 Josh November 17, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Sim50, you clearly don’t know much about the Bedouin culture in the 21st, 20th, and even 19th century. They are not nomadic, they live in villages and raise livestock, but remain in the same place. You’re basing your conceptions of what being Bedouin means on some romantic ideal of desert-dwelling nomads. In Israel, this is most assuredly not the case. They haven’t been nomadic in more than 150 years, and the land that they claim has been their for hundreds of years, and was purchased from the Ottoman authorities, and in fact many Bedouins in Israel, still, more than a hundred years after the deal was made, hold the original deed of sale.
    Secondly, why do you disassociate Bedouins from Palestinians, they are one cohesive national group.
    And lastly, your rhetoric, as Mylon said, is seriously racist and something out of 19th century British colonial discourse.
    “Their behaviour is rather savage and subhuman, and often times they are placed to face the armless, hopeless and helpless Palestinian people.”
    What? Savage and subhuman? Who’s backwards here? Palestinians = armless? What? Since when? Last i saw they had more guns than you can shake a stick at.

    So the questions really becomes… what are you even talking about? Stop clogging up the net with your racist crap.

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