Facts and Figures



Since Israel’s inception, the Palestinians in historic Palestine have experienced repeated and successive attempts at dislodging them from their own land. A mix of methods, plans, and other creative instruments -many of which rise to a flagrant and blatant violation of International Law- were used by Israel to achieve one of its foremost objectives; maintaining Jewish demographic superiority on the expense of the indigenous Palestinian citizens and non-citizens of Israel. The Prawer-Begin Plan is no different than the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. House demolitions in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, Gaillee or in Al-Naqb serve the same objective of isolating, containing and confining Palestinian presence, allowing for more Israeli land-grab and ensuring that the Palestinian ‘demographic bomb’, in the words of Israeli analysts, does not explode. This is to say the least discriminatory, racist and vile and has no place in the 21st century. The Prawer-Begin Plan is only one of the most recent examples of the slow ethnic cleansing process, we as Palestinians collectively face. Therefore, Prawer must not Pass.


The Palestinian Bedouins have faced repeated attempts with the aim dispossessing and uprooting them from their land. However, only recently, on May 6th, 2013 did the Israeli government approve what has become known as the Prawer Plan, otherwise called the “Law for regulation of Bedouin settlement in al-Naqab”.


The following are facts and information with regard to Palestinian Bedouins and the impact of the Prawer Plan:

Arabs of the Naqab are not itinerants, but are the indigenous peoples of al-Naqab.

  • According to many historical references the Palestinian Bedouins first settled in al-Naqab around the 7th century.
  • As specified in the Ottoman archives, Bedouin people have cultivated lands in al-Naqab area since the 15th century.
  • 90% of al-Naqab’s Palestinian population was forcibly displaced during the Nakbah in 1948. Most of those ethnically cleansed were destined to become refugees in Jordan. Those that remained were relocated to an area called Al-Sayyaj, which constitute no more than 7% of the total al-Naqab area.
  • Contrary to the stereotypical image of the Bedouin lifestyle, studies reveal that Palestinian Bedouins have settled in villages more than a century ago.
  • Remnants of some villages in al-Naqab can still be found and show signs of a stable rural life.

Bedouin Arabs are considered the indigenous under the charter of the United Nations.

  • According to article 8 of the charter of the United Nations on Indigenous Peoples, indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. The charter also affirms that states shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of any action, which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their land territories or resources; or any form of forced transfer or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights.
  • United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay decried the Prawer Plan and proclaimed it to be a gross human rights violation.
  • James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was denied entry into Israel, describes the policy of demolitions as means by which Israel maintains Jewish presence throughout al-Naqab – a motivation racially discriminatory on its own.

Estimates of various NGOs and experts in the field of planning and construction indicate that the Prawer Plan will result in the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel.

  • The estimates for the anticipated number of displaced persons as propagated by the Prime Minister’s Office are close to 30,000. But this number is deceptive to say the least, for it is expected that many more, or tens of thousands will be forcibly relocated “tens or hundreds of meters”- in the words Minister Begin, from their current place of residence. This so-called relocation actually translates to ethnic cleansing.
  • Gaining village recognition doesn’t guarantee maintaining structures, a large number of inhabitants on the village outskirts will be forced to relocate to the village center.

The Prawer Plan threatens to forcibly remove and displace 35 Arab villages in the Naqab.

  • The so-called planning process taking place under the proposed law will result in the displacement of tens of villages and thousands of Palestinian Bedouin citizens.
  • ØOn the other hand, the government intends to establish new Jewish settlements, parts of which are due to be built on the ruins of Palestinian Bedouin villages.

The Prawer Plan is slated confiscate about 600,000 dunams of land from their Arab owners.

  • The overall size of al-Naqab area is 13,000,000 dunams, Bedouin Arabs claim ownership for land totaling 900,000 dunams, namely 6% of the total land area of al-Naqab, whereas they comprise over 30% of the entire population.
  • In accordance with the law, the remaining Palestinians making up 30% of the population will be concentrated into only 1% of the land in this area.

The Prawer Plan violates the constitutional rights of Palestinian Bedouins and concentrates powers, authorities and potency to impel arbitrary proceedings in the hands of the government representative.

  • The Prawer Plan imposes severe and unbalanced sanctions on anyone who doesn’t comply with the law within a limited period of time.
  • Noncompliance with the law will be punishable with 2 year imprisonment, a punishment disproportionate to the offence.
  • The law grants the government representative powers of both police officer and judge, enabling him to issue administrative demolition orders and execute demolition procedures.
  • It is not possible to appeal the orders and decisions issued, except within a limited period of time, not exceeding a month, and only related to very narrowly defined technical issues.
  • The law invalidates the effect of inheritance law.

Gaining village recognition does not ensure provision of effective public services or the issuance of building permits. 

  • Recognized Arab villages in al-Naqab lack many public services, suffer from poor education levels, and rank at the bottom of social socio-economic status.
  • In the villages that have been recently recognized in Wahat Al-Sahraa and Abu Basma councils, no plate structure has been set up since 2005, and it’s not possible to issue building permits in these villages which continue to face large demolition operations.

The Prawer Plan disrupts the social fabric and effectively pillages the societal/community resources of the Palestinians in al-Naqab.

  • The Confiscation of land owned by Palestinian Bedouins will have severe detrimental impact on the socio-economic conditions of the Bedouin community. Rendering the agriculturally and livestock raising dependent lifestyle of Palestinian Bedouins highly implausible.
  • The Palestinian Bedouin village with its homogeneity constitutes a social resource that instills feelings of safety and familiarity, contrary to cities that lead to the depletion of these resources.

Naqab Arabs have proposed an alternative to the Prawer Plan.

  • The regional council of unrecognized village has proposed an alternative plan which calls for the recognition of unrecognized Bedouin villages in their current existing planning pattern.
  • The Arab villages in al-Naqab meet the planning department’s professional standards for gaining legal recognition.

The Prawer Plan is racist and epitomizes Israel’s apartheid system.

  • The Prawer Plan prohibits establishing any Arab communities west of Road 40.
  • Arab and Jewish citizens are treated under wholly different legal systems, the former languish under a semi-military rule, whereas the Jewish citizen enjoys full constitutional rights.

Links and other Materials:

*More material is available upon request.







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