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Hebron youth group protests Prawer Plan

Aug. 3, 2013 12:46 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 6, 2013 4:08 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A youth group in Hebron on Saturday organized a protest vigil to demonstrate against Israel’s Prawer Plan, which could displace thousands of Bedouin residents of the Negev from their land.

Youth Against Settlements organized the protest as part of wider actions to protest the displacement plan of some 40,000 Bedouins in the Negev.

"We gathered here today, both local and international activists, to highlight that the Zionist entity is committing premeditated crimes," Badee Dweik, a spokesperson from the group, told Ma'an.

"This is racism, displacement, ethnic cleansing and discrimination against Palestinians," he said, adding that human rights groups must lobby against the displacement plan.

Protestors in Hebron chanted slogans denouncing the Prawer Plan and urged Palestinians to close ranks and unite so as to be able to support their compatriots in the Negev to struggle against "oppression and discrimination."

Hundreds of Palestinians protested in the Negev on Thursday against the controversial plan.

A lawyer who joined the rally, Shihdeh Ben Berry, told Ma’an there was only one goal behind the protest and similar protests -- to thwart the Prawer Plan.

"The people of Israel suffered in the past by the Nazis, and today they are mirroring their suffering against Palestinian minorities causing them to suffer the same and even more," he said.

The so-called Prawer-Begin Bill calls for the relocation of 30,000-40,000 Bedouin, the demolition of about 40 villages and the confiscation of more than 700,000 dunums of land in the Negev.

It was approved by the Israeli government in January and by parliament in a first reading in June, and two more votes on it are expected.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay slammed the bill last week, urging the Israeli government to reconsider its plans.

"If this bill becomes law, it will accelerate the demolition of entire Bedouin communities, forcing them to give up their homes, denying them their rights to land ownership, and decimating their traditional cultural and social life in the name of development," Pillay said.
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