There are some 160,000 Bedouin living in the Negev. This population has long suffered from discriminatory policies, particularly in matters pertaining to land, planning and development, which severely affect their living conditions and rights to adequate housing, health, education and employment.
About half of the Bedouin live in seven townships. The other half lives in 46 villages, of which only 11 have been recognized by the State.
Since 1999 Bimkom has been working in both recognized and unrecognized villages.
This initiative involves:
- Practical assistance to local Bedouin communities. We promote plans which seek to answer their communities’ critical needs, and allow for the legalization of existing homes. Such plans can provide protection from the threat of demolition and enable the connection to vital infrastructure and services as well as providing for future development.
- Advancement of an alternative Master Plan for the Negev Bedouin: Bimkom, together with the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV) has prepared a suggested Master Plan which offers practical solutions for recognizing and planning all the Bedouin villages. Bimkom lobbies for the acceptance of this plan or parts thereof in place of the government’s “Praver Plan” which threatens to uproot up to 70,000 Bedouin from their villages.
- The creation of the first-of–its-kind comprehensive research into the causes that bar implementation of approved plans and development in formally recognized Bedouin villages. The report will provide decision makers, professionals and the Bedouin themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to advance development, including building permits, infrastructure and services.
- Intensive capacity building assistance to the Bedouin so that they will be able to negotiate with the authorities in the long-term.
- Advocacy and awareness raising among decision makers and planning professionals.