Daily Israel Report

Arabs Riot in Beersheva Over Resettlement Plan

Arabs rioted in Beersheva as they protested a government plan that would award them with thousands of dunams of state land.
By David Lev
First Publish: 7/16/2013, 2:12 AM

Bedouin protest
Bedouin protest
Flash 90

Arabs rioted in Beersheva Monday as they protested a government plan that would require some of them to move, while awarding them with thousands of dunams of stolen state land.

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which represents Arab communities in Israel, had called for a day of "angry strikes" including demonstrations in 15 cities to denounce the government's Bedouin resettlement plan.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said about 800 people took part in the main demonstration in Beersheba, while Arab MK Jamal Zahalka said more than 1,000 attended. Bedouins rioted and threw stones at police, flying Palestinian Authority flags and denouncing Israel. At least three officers were injured. Fifteen rioters were arrested, police said.

Arabs rioted in northern Israel as well. Hundreds of Arabs threw rocks and stones at police near the village of Sakhnin. Fourteen were arrested in that riot.

Arabs are protesting a relocation plan that seeks to redeem thousands of dunams of land that were settled illegally by Bedouin, in the Negev and Galilee. As part of the plan, Israel will retroactively legalize dozens of Arab towns and villages built illegally over the decades.