When the Justice Ministry submits its report in August in
The Negev Coexistence Forum, in conjunction with Physicians for Human Rights, prepared a counter-report pointing out failings in the state report to the United Nations, as part of its demand that the international body help fight systemic discrimination against Bedouin in Israel.
Their report systematically refutes the Israeli findings in several key categories of concern, including services, land, water and religion.
Services: The Israeli state report, claims that, in Bedouin towns, citizens "receive services at a level equal to every other citizen in the state."
According to the counter-report, there are six Bedouin towns recognized as "permanent communities" and one city, Rahat. There is no public transportation in any of the towns. Rahat has 40,000 residents, one post office, one bank, and no public library. The towns do not have any of these services, unlike Jewish towns with an equal number of residents, according to the
Land: The state report writes that "members of the Bedouin community were given more land per person than any other population."
The counter-report shows a different picture. There are currently 45 Bedouin villages, among which only 10 are legally recognized. Despite the more than hundred Jewish agricultural villages in the
Haya Noah, of the Negev Coexistence Forum, said land allocation in one village is 10,000 dunam for 1,000 people, compared to Jewish communities who are each given thousands of dunams for fewer than one hundred families.
Water: The state reports that since 1997, the sedentary population in unrecognized villages have had access to water. The Bedouin Administration claims that in 2003, the water committee converged only four times, and approved only six out of 80 requests for water. Bedouin say that in certain cases it took a year to hook up a water system and at a cost of
Religion: Israeli law grants its citizens access to holy sites. According to the Bedouin report, the city of Be’er Sheva refused to delineate the only mosque in the city as a prayer center or as a Muslim community center, as recommended by the High Court of Justice. A city spokesperson said the building can not be used as a place of worship, but as a museum, as it hasn’t been used as a mosque for over 60 years.