The Regavim organization, whose mission is to safeguard Israel’s National Lands, released a major policy paper this week, detailing a comprehensive plan to once and for all restore order in Israel’s Negev Desert.
Currently there are over 50,000 Bedouin residents of the State of Israel living in 2,300 illegal housing clusters in land masses larger than the areas of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Be’er Sheba combined.
The full policy paper calls for the expanded development of the 18 legal and existing Bedouin communities, the resettlement of the Bedouin population into those towns, and a full resolution of Bedouin ownership claims in the Negev.
Meir Deutsch, Regavim’s Director of Policy and Knesset Relations said that “for years the government has neglected to bring forward a comprehensive and realistic plan to help in solving the Negev housing crisis. We believe our plan offers an attainable solution which will benefit the Bedouin population and at the same time will restore order.” He added, “This plan will safeguard Israel’s National Lands in the Negev for all residents of the State of Israel for generations to come.”
In conjunction with the policy paper, Regavim has launched a major information campaign to explain the plan to the citizens of Israel and at the same time will be lobbying government officials and MK’s to adopt the plan. “Our goal is to get the word out so that people understand what’s really at stake here – the future of the Negev desert, and how important this area is in Israel’s development,” said Deutsch.