HR training in al-Qrein by Khalil Al-Amour
Here is the final report on what we’ve done during the course of this project to help the Bedouin community stop home demolitions in the Negev/Naqab.
We’ve succeeded (along with a host of other actors), to halt the Prawer Plan! This is a HUGE achievement and we are very proud that you’ve played a significant role in bringing about this victory with your generous donation to this campaign.
Here are more details on how your kind donation has made and continues to make a real, tangible difference in the lives of the Palestinian Bedouin community in the Naqab, both in stopping the Prawer Plan and better guaranteeing that the people continue to remain on their lands and in their homes.
Our project to ‘Help Thousands of Bedouin to Stop Home Demolitions’ is officially being retired on GlobalGiving. This report summarizes our work over the past two years of the campaign and highlights its biggest achievements. If you want to continue to support our important work and the Palestinian Bedouin community in the Naqab, please see ‘Postscript’ at the bottom of this report to find out how.
1. Update on the Prawer Plan
Owing to the efforts of the project and those of various other actors, the Israeli government decided in December 2013 to halt the legislative process of the Prawer Plan Bill! Soon after, however, the government announced that it would continue pursuing the Prawer Plan, albeit within the Ministry of Agriculture. Since then, the legislative process has effectively remained stalled.
However, although the legislation remains frozen, demolitions of Bedouin homes in the Naqab remain a daily reality, and the state continues to approve and implement its development projects on top of Bedouin villages.
2. Home demolition statistics
In response to Adalah's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for official statistics on the number of home demolitions in the Naqab for the year 2013, the state responded that it had demolished 572 homes in the "Bedouin sector". Adalah used this information for advocacy purposes, disseminating it in our reports and interventions to EU and UN human rights bodies. There was a very high percentage of self-demolitions by Bedouin owners, due to financial threats and coercions by the state.
3. What did your kind donation help us to do?
Your generous donation allowed us to do some crucial work – in litigation, awareness raising, human rights training of community members and international advocacy - in and with the community to ensure their right to property and their right to live in dignity:
i) Legal action: Adalah achieved the cancellation of 51 home demolition orders against the village of Alsira, following the court’s rejection of the state's appeal. The Alsira success offers an important legal precedent, which Adalah will use for other villages, in order to challenge the state's discriminatory plans to demolish Bedouin unrecognized villages and evict residents from their homes and lands.
ii) Community empowerment: Adalah convened human rights awareness-raising workshops, together with our partner, the Negev Co-existence Forum. The community increased its documentation of human rights violations, and there was high interest and participation among Bedouin citizens – men, women and youth - in the trainings. In 2014, we organized 7 human rights trainings – 3 for 29 women and 4 for 52 men (81 people in total) – in four unrecognized villages identified as being at high-risk of demolition by state authorities.
iii) Awareness-raising and advocacy locally and internationally: Adalah organized more than 70 study tours in the Naqab for Latin American diplomats, Hebrew-language bloggers and Palestinian artists, among others. We conducted 3 international advocacy missions in 2014 as part of the project: two missions to UN bodies in Geneva, and one to the European Union in Brussels. We also achieved strong concluding observations on Israel by the UN Human Rights Committee on the rights of Bedouin citizens, and positive texts from the EU in its European Neighborhood Policy Progress Report on Israel on Bedouin citizens' rights. Highlight of international advocacy: In 10/14, Adalah conducted a mission to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) in Geneva, for its review of Israel’s compliance with the ICCPR The key concluding observations related to Arab Bedouin citizens were the Committee’s recommendations that Israel must: end its policies of punitive home demolitions, discriminatory planning and zoning, and forcible transfer and evictions of Arab Bedouin citizens in the Naqab, and in particular, to withdraw the Prawer Plan and its legislative arm, ensure that Bedouin citizens are fully included in the consultative process of their fate, and respect their rights to their ancestral land and their way of life (CO #9).
Some of the main achievements during this period, and those that contributed to the stalling of the Prawer Plan, were:
i) Adalah’s legal strategies and case interventions were pivotal in protecting homes for hundreds of people and Bedouin villages from eviction and demolition by the state. Adalah achieved these results either by forcing the state to delay its plans by engaging it in legal cases, or by obtaining positive court decisions that cancelled discriminatory orders. Adalah’s legal services and expertise filled a major institutional need for the Bedouin community.
ii) The project’s awareness-raising activities played a significant part in the collective efforts to promote the rights of Bedouin citizens in the Naqab. Adalah became among the foremost sources of information on the human rights of the Bedouin, particularly in relation to the Prawer Plan, which allowed the project’s activities and products to be shared to a wide local and international audience.
As you know, although the Prawer Plan has been successfully stalled, the home demolitions continue. More recently, on 5 May, the Israeli Supreme Court delivered a rather devastating decision for human rights when it decided that it was okay to demolish all the homes and evict all the residents of the Bedouin sister villages of Atir and Umm al-Hiran and in their place to settle Israeli Jews. This decision sets a very dangerous precedent that would facilitate future forced displacement and dispossession of Palestinian citizens for overtly discriminatory and racist reasons. In order to prevent this from happening, we’ve launched a new campaign to #Save_UmAlHiran. Join us in this new struggle and let’s make an even bigger impact than we did in our first campaign!
Community Visit to Al-Araqib in March 2014
Latin American Embassy Reps on Tour
Nadia, Nadeem & Khalil @ UN ICCPR's Review of IL
Khalil Al-Amour & the Al-Sira decision! No demos!