66% of Negev Bedouin Live Below Poverty Line

Ruth Sinai
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Ruth Sinai

Some 66 percent of Negev Bedouin live under the poverty line, and in unrecognized villages, the figure reaches 80 percent, according to a study to be released today by the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. This compares to a poverty rate of 25 percent in the general population.

The study's authors, Drs. Suleiman Abu-Bader and Daniel Gottlieb of Ben-Gurion University's economics department, also found that only 9 percent of Bedouin women participate in the labor force, compared to 25 percent of other Arab women and 55 percent of Jewish women. And among those Bedouin women who are in the labor force, the unemployment rate is 15.5 percent, compared to 9 percent among Israeli women in general.

Among Bedouin men, the unemployment rate is 22 percent, compared to 8 percent among the male population in general.