Skip to main content

Israel halts plan that would displace Bedouins

By CNN Staff
updated 1:55 PM EST, Thu December 12, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Israel halted a controversial plan that would have displaced tens of thousands of Bedouins
  • The plan, which angered the Bedouins, did not get enough votes in parliament
  • The aim was to integrate the historic farming community more into Israeli society

(CNN) -- Israel has halted a plan that would have displaced tens of thousands of Bedouins in the southern part of the country.

The controversial plan would have involved destroying "unrecognized" villages in the Negev, and resettling the displaced Bedouin citizens into "recognized" villages.

Benny Begin, a former lawmaker who helped construct the plan, said Thursday it does not have enough votes in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, to move forward.

The Prawer Plan was based on an effort to better integrate Israel's Bedouin population into Israeli society. Following recommendations of a committee chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Goldberg, the Israeli Cabinet approved a plan in 2011. The Cabinet also approved more economic development in the Bedouin sector of the Negev, the government said at the time.

But the plan to displace Bedouins sparked anger. Last month, Israeli riot police broke up a demonstration comprising more than 1,000 people who were protesting.

According to Israeli sources, more than 40,000 Bedouins would have been affected by the plan; Bedouin elders estimate the total at more than 70,000.

In a statement Thursday, Begin said he has suggested that the law be halted, but efforts to develop the Bedouin communities in the Negev continue. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "accepted my suggestion," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 6:36 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:03 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT