Still from video on school bus stops in the Naqab
Thanks to your support during this past year, we have fought for and achieved the opening of high school for Bedouin students and then saved this nascent school from being closed!
Last year, in November 2018, Adalah sent a letter to the Israeli authorities demanding that they open a high school in Al-Zarnouq, an unrecognized Bedouin village, located in the Naqab (Negev) desert.
The village of around 5,000 residents has 450 high school-age pupils who have to travel long distances to and from schools in other villages. As a result, many students drop out and never complete more than the 8th grade. After long correspondence, the Education Ministry and the local Regional Council was set to open the school in September for the 2019-2020 academic year.
However, in August 2019, Regavim – a right-wing, pro-settler Israeli organization – filed a petition to the Be’er Sheva District Court to prevent the opening of the urgently needed high school. Regavim argued that the high school had not acquired all the necessary permits and paperwork to open its facility, and claimed that regardless of these documents, the school itself is still illegal because it is located in an unrecognized village.
Regavim regularly submits petitions before Israeli courts against Bedouins in the Naqab and in the West Bank. The organization claims that “the Jewish People are being robbed of the Land of Israel” by any development projects undertaken by/for these communities.
In a hearing on 29 August 2019, Adalah argued before the court that Regavim’s petition must be rejected. Adalah emphasized that the school had already been put in place and that preparations were under way to begin the new year in the fall of 2019. Adalah further argued that Regavim's petition was pursuing bad motives and intentions under the law.
The court accepted Adalah’s arguments. Adalah later participated in a meeting with the local planning committee to secure the remaining necessary permits. And the school was finally opened at the end of September 2019!
An achievement like this – the opening of the high school and fighting the right-wing to prevent its closure - is made possible by your ongoing support of our work.
Further, for the new school year, a journalist and cameraman for YNet – a leading Hebrew newspaper in Israel – accompanied Adalah to several villages in the Naqab and interviewed our staff and local residents about the government’s neglect of kindergartens for Bedouin children, producing a widely watched report (Hebrew).
Adalah also released a one-minute video to raise awareness of Israel’s refusal to provide basis infrastructure for transportation for Bedouin school kids.
About 12,000 Bedouin children continue to face danger every day as there are no bus stops to keep them safe from the busy highways where they need to be picked up.
Adalah took the Israeli authorities to court to construct these bus stops and won – but despite the state’s commitment, one year later, the bus stops have yet to be built.
Your support is crucial for us to take all actions necessary to ensure the state fulfils its obligations. Please donate to Adalah today.