17 Jul 2013

Israel's Sweeping Ethnic Cleansing Plan

A national day of protests and strikes swept Israel and occupied Palestine Monday as demonstrators filled the streets to voice their opposition to Israel's Prawer 'ethnic cleansing' Plan that would forcibly evict and displace up to 70 thousand indigenous Palestinian Bedouins from the Naqab/Negev region in southern Israel. Street protests spread through major Palestinian cities and towns Monday, including Ramallah, Gaza City, Hebron, and Nablus.

A 700-strong protest in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva, under the banner of "The Prawer Plan will not pass," blocked a major thoroughfare and was shut down by police, who arrested at least 14 people. Palestinian communities shuttered many commercial establishments Monday in a strike endorsed by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, but not the PLO. Photos show Palestinian marketplaces sitting closed and empty. Israel's Prewar Plan, passed in the Knesset in late June, aims to displace tens of thousands of Bedouins and destroy 35 "unrecognized villages," forcing Bedouins into government resettlement villages. The Adelah Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel says the Prawer Plan, if implemented, would be "the largest single act of forced displacement of Arab citizens of Israel since the 1950s."