Ten days ago, the Knesset Finance Committee held a meeting about the dire economic situation of Arab- Bedouin shepherds in the Negev. The M.K. who initiated the discussion, Dr. Afu Agbaria (Hadash), argued that following a tour of the unrecognized villages in the area, he discovered that the aforementioned economic distress stems from fewer available pastures, the lack of water at the same discount rate enjoyed by the agriculture industry, the closure of markets and monetary fines for leading herds illegally.
His comments were supported by the chairman of the Council of Bedouin Shepherds, Muhammad Abu Farha, who said that the situation is not conducive to earning a respectable living. Ibrahim el-Atrash, a shepherd, warned that he and his colleagues would eventually become a burden on the state.