December’s ‘Day of Rage’ against the Prawer Plan saw protests held by Palestinian activists across historic Palestine. From the Naqab to Gaza and from Haifa to Ramallah, Palestinians took to the streets collectively in one of the widest-spread organised days of Palestinian protest seen in many years. Solidarity events were also held in many cities around the world.
A week after the ‘Day of Rage’, former minister and joint-drafter of the Prawer Plan, Benny Begin stated that the Israeli government had decided to cancel the Prawer Plan following the failure of Knesset members to reach a common consensus. Four Palestinian MKs had sent a letter to John Kerry asking him to apply outside pressure on Israel to stop the bill, whilst members of Israel’s right were against Prawer because they believed that by offering the Palestinian Bedouin alternative housing after forcibly displacing them, Israel was granting too much to it’s non-Jewish citizens.
The lack of celebration on the ground in Palestine when this news was leaked was a result of mass-skepticism and this suspicion seems now to have been proved wise. On December 17th, Haaretz reported that Major General Doron Almog, the official in charge of implementing Prawer, stated that the plan had not in fact been cancelled and was still being prepared in the Knesset. It is expected that some re-wording will be done to appease Israel’s powerful right-wing parties, but that the plan itself will eventually still be implemented and between 40-70,000 Palestinian Bedouin will be displaced.
House demolitions have been ongoing in the Naqab since December’s ‘Day of Rage’ as the abhorrent status-quo continues. Israel continues to move forward with its displacement policies and Palestinian citizens of Israel continue to build their resistance in every way they can. Within this framework of resistance, villagers from several Naqab communities staged a protest in Bir al-Saba on Thursday 9th January outside the offices of the Bedouin Settlement Regulation Authority.
Although the protest was small in comparison to those held in December, villagers from various Naqab communities joined the demonstration amidst chants for a collective national uprising against displacement wherever it is being implemented against the Palestinian people.
Images by Rich Wiles