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Anti-Prawer protests scheduled for Nov. 30 in Palestine, worldwide

Nov. 10, 2013 10:05 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 11, 2013 9:10 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian youth will gather in several cities within historic Palestine and around the world on Nov. 30 to protest against Israel's Prawer Plan, several youth organizations said in a statement Sunday.

The protest event will take place simultaneously in the Negev, Haifa, Ramallah, and Gaza City, as well as in several locations worldwide, and will be named the "International Day of the Negev."

Israel's Prawer Plan calls for the relocation of 40,000-70,000 Bedouin, the demolition of about 40 villages, and the confiscation of nearly 200,000 acres of land in the Negev Desert.

The groups announced the worldwide protest the same day Israeli government officials met in the Negev to discuss plans for the construction of four Israeli neighborhoods in place of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, which faces possible destruction.

A final Israeli legal decision on the demolition of Umm al-Hiran has not yet been made, but a court will resume the case on Nov. 20.

"Prawer will not be allowed to pass," the groups' statement said.

"No one will live quietly and comfortably as long as a single family in Negev faces the threat of displacement. No one in this country will enjoy freedom and dignity if we Palestinians, especially in Negev, do not live in dignity on our land."

The groups held similar protest events - dubbed "days of rage" - on July 15 and Aug. 1, according to the statement.

During these past events, the statement said, Israeli police "brutally assaulted young men and women, detaining and injuring dozens."

"Prawer will not pass," the sign reads in Arabic.

'Criminal plan'

The statement said that the Israeli government had escalated its "criminal plan" this week by announcing a call for bids to build 20 Israeli settlements on land slated for confiscation.

"Some of the new settlements will be built on the wreckage of Bedouin villages," the statement said.

The Israeli government approved the Prawer-Begin plan in 2011, in what it says was an attempt to address the problem of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev desert of southern Israel.

The 2011 proposal was formulated without any consultation with the Bedouin community and rights groups slammed it as a major blow to Bedouin rights.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the plan will destroy the communal and social fabric of tens of thousands of Bedouins, condemning them to a future of poverty and unemployment.

The Israeli state denies them access to basic services and infrastructure, such as electricity and running water, and refuses to place them under municipal jurisdiction.
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