Bedouins hold banners during a protest against a plan to uproot their villages in the city of Beersheba in the Negev desert on March 3, 2016
Hundreds of people have staged a demonstration in the occupied Palestinian territories to protest against Israeli plans to force thousands of Palestinian Bedouins from their homes, which will be demolished and replaced by a new Israeli settlement in the Negev region.
On Thursday, some 400 protesters, among them Palestinian lawmakers, chanted anti-Israeli slogans and called for a halt to the demolition of the Bedouin villages of Atir and Umm al-Hiran, and the establishment of the Hiran settlement on the ruins.
About 192,000 Bedouins, or indigenous Arabs, are currently living in the Negev desert. Most of their villages were constructed before the occupation of Palestinian territories in 1948.
Israeli authorities have been carrying out forced evacuations against Palestinian Bedouins since 1949.
The demolition of Bedouin homes is part of Israel’s massive land grab policy, which will forcefully displace thousands of people.
Tel Aviv has so far refused to recognize the rights of Palestinian Bedouins and denies them access to basic services.
Human rights groups say the latest move will lead to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians living there.
In November 2015, the Israeli regime approved a plan to establish five towns in an area populated by Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev desert. Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant praised the Israeli cabinet’s approval of his plan.
(Source / 04.03.2016)