A United Nations committee has called on for the withdrawal of an Israeli draft law that would move 30,000 Bedouin living in the Negev to permanent, existing Bedouin communities.
According to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Law for the Regulation of the Bedouin Settlement in the Negev is discriminatory and would legalize racist practices.
The bill is based on the Prawer Report, which was approved by the cabinet in September. It calls for moving 30,000 Negev Bedouin to communities such as Rahat, Kseifa and Hura. The plan - drafted in response to recommendations made by the Goldberg committee - envisions land exchanges and compensation payments, and comes with an estimated price tag of NIS 6.8 billion.
The UN committee said the law “would legalize the ongoing policy of demolitions and forced displacement of the indigenous Bedouin communities.”
It expressed concern “about the current situation of Bedouin communities, particularly with regard to the policy of demolitions, notably of homes and other structures, and the increasing difficulties faced by members of these communities in gaining access on a basis of equality with Jewish inhabitants to land, housing, education, employment and public health.”
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