Israeli Cabinet Minister Lashes Out at 'Unruly' Bedouin Citizens

Minister Yoav Galant warns against Negev Bedouin achieving territorial contiguity with West Bank Palestinians, urges continued settling of south Hebron Hills

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant gives a press conference in March 2016.
Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant gives a press conference in March 2016. Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) told the Knesset Interior Committee on Tuesday that Jewish settlement in the south Hebron Hills of the West Bank is necessary to prevent Bedouin communities in Israel’s Negev from achieving territorial contiguity with Palestinian towns in the southern West Bank.

In all the eastern Negev, the minister said, "there's an unruliness by the Bedouin population, which that intends to take control on the ground and do whatever they want.”

Galant, who was speaking at a session to discuss a plan to develop settlements proposed by the Yesha Council, added: “Every Negev resident is married to four [Palestinian] women from the Hebron Hills and receives National Insurance [benefits]. I’m in favor of seeing to their needs but they should also fulfill their obligations as citizens. Settling the length of the south Hebron Hills is essential,” Galant said.

According to a 2013 census, around 210,000 Bedouin live in the Negev, about 120,000 of them in recognized communities, whether in relatively organized towns such as Rahat or in clusters of ramshackle huts. The remaining 80,000 live in shacks scattered around the Negev. Israeli Bedouin communities are last on the socioeconomic ladder, centers of poverty, neglect and crime.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister

Lake Kinneret. The high water level created lagoons at the northern end of the lake.

Lake Kinneret as You’ve Never Experienced It Before