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Rights Group Urges Israel to Stop Demolishing Bedouin Homes

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Human Rights Watch is urging Israel to immediately stop demolishing Bedouin homes and investigate alleged land and housing discrimination against the Arab minority.

The rights group released a report Monday saying Israeli laws and practices have forced tens of thousands of Bedouin in southern Israel's Negev desert region to live in unrecognized shanty towns.

The report says the illegally-built towns have little water and electricity, and are under constant threat of demolition.

Human Rights Watch says since the 1950s, Israel has forced Bedouins from land they claimed as their own and used the land for Jewish communities.

Israeli officials say they are enforcing zoning and building codes. They say the displaced can relocate to government-planned Bedouin townships.

Human Rights Watch says the government townships are deeply impoverished, and have high crime rates and few jobs.

It also says Bedouin applicants also are often rejected from the new Jewish developments.

Human Rights Watch based its findings on interviews in 13 unrecognized Bedouin villages and three government-planned Bedouin townships in the Negev.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

 

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