Pandemic demolitions:

The unrecognized Bedouin villages in southern Israel and the ongoing housing crisis

Huda Abu Obaid and Elianne Kremer (Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, NCF)

Published in Issue 3.2 // Updates

Keywords: housing, demolitions, pandemic, Bedouin residents, land

Abstract:

This Update reports on the continued eviction policy that the State of Israel has been leading towards the Bedouin of the Negev-Naqab, a situation existing since the establishment of the State in 1948 and deepened during the Covid-19 pandemic. The housing crisis for Bedouin indigenous citizens and communities has long been urgent and dire, as the State of Israel continues to deny the existence of thirty-five Bedouin villages that are unrecognized and thus lack basic infrastructure like electricity, sewage services, water connections and garbage disposal. With little access to health services, these communities continue to be transparent on the map and in national statistics. Members of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, an Arab-Jewish organization established in 1997 by Arab and Jewish residents of the Naqab to provide a platform for a joint fight for civil rights equality, detail these historic and ongoing housing injustices, supported by powerful photos from the exhibition Recognized: Life and Resilience captured by Bedouin women.

Huda Abu Obaid is a Bedouin feminist activist from the township of al-Lagiyyih, an active leader for the rights of the Bedouin and the Director of Local lobby and employment at NCF.

Elianne Kremer is a Uruguayan-Israeli development expert with experience in field research, analysis and M&E in humanitarian aid and social development. She is directing the Research and International Relations of NCF, working closely with community activists.

Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) is an an Arab-Jewish organization established in 1997 by Arab and Jewish residents of the Naqab, to provide a platform for a joint fight for civil rights equality. The Forum recognizes the neglect of various Israeli governments and their authorities, who have denied the Bedouin community in the Naqab full rights, and acts to prevent further affliction and harm to recognized and unrecognized villages. The Forum’s activities are varied and include local and international advocacy, research, community activities, public protests, social media, work with Israeli and foreign media, and more. All activities are based on Arab-Jewish collaboration.

Download PDF

See article reference