The popular committee of the Arab-Bedouin villages Atir and Umm al-Hiran has called upon the public to join a mass protest rally against the uprooting of the two villages on Thursday, March 3, at 10:45 AM. A protest march will set out from the offices of the Bedouin Authority located in the Negev Center in Beer Sheeba and will proceed to the city courthouse where a demonstration will begin at 11:30. The protest is being organized following the refusal of Israel’s Supreme Court to reconsider the decision of a lower district court to demolish the villages of Atir and Umm al-Hiran and evict all their residents.
The popular committee has published the following message: “Friends, after all legal measures have been exhausted, it is clearer than ever before that the only choice is for our people to make a determined stand. We, the residents of Atir and Umm al-Hiran, have vowed to remain on our lands whatever the consequences. It is obvious that the destruction and eviction will not cease with those of Atir and Umm al-Hiran should this happen. Additional villages, including al-Zarnuk; Bir-Mshash and Qatamat, are also threatened with destruction and the eviction of all their residents. Weekly demolitions and harassment by state authorities continue throughout the Negev. Today, more than 50,000 homes throughout the Arab community in Israel are slated for destruction. It is our responsibility to say in a loud and clear voice ‘We shall not be moved!’ It is utterly intolerable to uproot an entire village and its residents, in order to bring in settlers and establish a new Jewish town to be named Hiran, both appropriating our space and obliterating our history.
“We call upon you and all like-minded persons of conscience to support us, so that Umm al-Hiran and Atir will not face their fate alone. Remember – Umm al-Hiran and Atir are on their guard – together we will stop the uprooting of the villages just as we have previously stopped the despicable Prawer bill.”
Transportation from the north, center and south of Israel is available. Please register in advance at: http://goo.gl/forms/KjE8lS6w7v