The United Nations has asked the Israeli government to prepare and submit a detailed report on the status of Palestinian Bedouin citizens in the Negev Desert.
This is in response to claims by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality that the latest report submitted by the Israeli authorities in July 2009 excluded many important issues. The Forum presented its own special report the following month, drawing attention to and clarifying Israeli neglect of the Bedouin who are, nominally at least, full citizens of the country.
Forum Coordinator Noam Tirosh believes that, in the area of political and civil rights for minorities, Israeli policies imitate the standards of a Third World country.
“How does this neglect stand against Israel’s all-too-often repeated claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East?” he asked, before adding, “It is inconceivable that as we approach 2010, tens of thousands of citizens are not connected to the electricity grid, have no access to running water and do not have basic civil and political rights.”