Uprooting (“Transfer”) Law Hits the Road

The Prawer Plan – Expulsion of Tens of Thousands of Arab Palestinian Bedouins in Al Naqab (the Negev)

A Statement by the Communist Party of Israel

The Prawer Plan, which has been cooking for years, has passed its first reading in the Knesset in June 2013 and is about to be realized in the near future. As a Law, the Plan is going to confiscate 800,000 dunums of land in Al Naqab and expel over 50,000 Bedouins (who belong to the Arab Palestinian national minority within Israel) from their native land and residence. This inhumane plan will also lead to the demolition of 35 historic Arab villages that the governments of Israel continuously refuse to recognize, and will confine 30% of Arab Bedouins in Al Naqab to 1% of the land.

Apparently, the most horrible aspect of this law is that in order to receive any land compensation those new internally displaced people (IDPs) have to agree first to be removed from their homes, and to be re-located at a location chosen for them by the government. The Arab Bedouin IDPs must forgo their traditions, their land-based economy, their community and life with their extended family. The Plan stipulates that they must clear the land of everything – their home, their belongings, their animals, even their trees, to be eligible for land compensation. The “transfer” procedure is thus as follows:

  1. The prime minister claims a certain area for un-settling.
  2. A government official gives a decree for all to clear the land. There is no need for a court authorization (as is law).
  3. People have 30 days to clear off this area, including breaking down their homes and clearing the land.
  4. Those who don’t can be jailed for up to two years.
  5. The courts cannot intervene, beyond procedural issues, and cannot stop a home from being demolished under this decree.
  6. There will be billions of shekels available for this bill: police, bulldozers, whatever it takes.

That is the draconian law initiated by Israeli government and now entrenched by the Knesset. There is no mention of where the people are expected to go; there is no mention of under what circumstances a village will be recognized. There is no mention of planning procedures. There is no mention of the government’s responsibility towards the tens of thousands that it is going to make homeless by this bill. 


How come that a self-proclaimed “democracy” legislates such a racist bill? The answer is rather simple: being identified by all Israeli governments throughout the years as a Jewish and Zionist state, the state of Israel under those governments have always treated its Palestinian citizens as no more than a nuisance, not to say as “security risks“, whose rights and needs ought to be overpowered by Jewish political and demographic domination and by Zionist interests. Thus, the primary cause of the mass transfer of indigenous Palestinian Bedouins and their forced urbanization is not solely to subordinate them, but also to establish yet more Jewish neighbourhoods and communities in Al Naqab. This plan is part of another infamous master plan, namely the “Judaization” of Al Naqab and the Galilee and the realization of Zionist hegemony.

The Communist Party of Israel strongly condemns the racist and brutal Prawer Law, and herewith urges its companions and friends around the world to make a real move against that malice scheme by:

  1. Initiating vigils, protests, demonstrations and alike in front of Israeli embassies and consulates everywhere.
  2. Calling on parliamentary representatives in their countries (and, where relevant, in the European Parliament) to raise the issue in the appropriate committees and plenums.
  3. Appealing directly to Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and demanding the total cancelation of Prawer Law.


–   Say no to Prawer Law!

–   Stop immediately any plan and deed of confiscation and transfer of indigenous Bedouins of Al Naqab!

–   Recognize all the “unrecognized” Palestinian Bedouin villages!

–   Begin a fair dialogue with Bedouin leadership!

–   Accept a just solution to all Bedouin difficulties and troubles, including those associated with access to water, health-care, education, roads etc.!


For papers of some Israeli human rights organizations on the subject: http://www.acri.org.il/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Prawer-Policy-Paper-May2011.pdf