'Prove to Tibi and Friends that Violence Does Not Pay'
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz addressed the upswing in Arab violence in general and its ramifications in Saturday's "day of rage," where over 1000 stones were hurled at police forces called to detain unruly Bedouin, Arab, and leftist rioters.
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions," Katz stated Sunday morning, noting that the State gives Bedouins unprecedented benefits, "but they respond to cries for an Initifada (terror war against Israel) and the waving of PLO flags."
Katz added, "I voted against the bill because I saw this coming. Most of the MKs who supported the bill believed that the reality to follow would be different." He stressed that now the state must "act strongly against rioters and prove to [MK] Ahmed Tibi and his colleagues that violence does not pay."
Over 1000 protestors from Bedouin communities and left-wing organizations protested on Saturday against the so-called Prawer Bill, which would remove some 30-40,000 Bedouins from their illegally built outposts in the Negev. The move follows years of Negev lawlessness, in an attempt to make Israel's South a less dangerous place to live.
The bill will also legalize several illegally-built Bedouin communities, expand existing communities, and give Bedouin communities a total of about 180,000 dunams (45,000 acres) of state-owned land. Those who are removed from illegally built outposts will be provided with alternate land or financial compensation.
Foreign-backed NGOs may be the key to Bedouin land grabs, which have reportedly taken large swaths of Jewish land in the Negev and claimed them for Bedouin Arab groups. While the Prawer Bill would evict thousands of illegal squatters from Bedouin-claimed territories, the Bill also gives the wider Bedouin community up to 63% of their illegally-gained land, without any proof of ownership.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman pointed out in the wake of the riots that the State is being consistent with cries from leftist organizations to uphold building permits, noting that building permits aren't only required for Jews.
MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-Ta'al) responded by making a number of inflammatory remarks on Saturday night, calling Liberman a "fascist" and accusing him of stealing land from Palestinian Arabs.
The Prawer Bill has not yet been passed into law, and has yet to pass second and third readings in the Knesset.