Roughly 200,000 Bedouins live in the Negev Desert of Israel, all of them citizens and most of them concentrated in an area around the city of Beersheva. Granted Israeli citizenship in the 1950's, they lived under military rule until the 1960's and have since resisted government attempts to move them into seven larger, recognized towns. Thousands of Bedouin still live in dozens of unrecognized settlements across the northern Negev. If the Prawer-Begin law is passed by Israel's Knesset, as many as 40,000 Bedouins will be forcibly removed from their homes.
A look back at the Bedouin presence in the Negev in photographs, 1900 to the present.