Israeli desert plan would uproot 30,000 Bedouin

By Allyn Fisher-Ilan, uruknet.info,  Nov 23, 2011

AL-ARAKIB, Israel (Reuters) — Bulldozed by Israel more than two dozen times, a village known by Bedouin Arabs as al-Arakib is one of many ramshackle desert communities whose names have never appeared on any official map.

If Israel’s parliament adopts proposed new legislation, it never will.

The plan to demolish more Bedouin homes in the southern Negev region and move 30,000 people to government-authorized villages connected to power and water lines has been hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “historic opportunity” to improve Bedouin lives.

But Israeli Arab leaders, who have long complained about discrimination against their community in Israel, call it “ethnic cleansing,” and aim to thwart the project with protests, a general strike and appeals to the United Nations to intervene.

I will never leave here, I intend to stay until I die,” said Abu-Madyam, 46, a farmer from al-Arakib.

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