On October 13, 2023, we addressed the Minister of Defense, the Minister of the Interior, and the Home Front Command, demanding the establishment of protection or temporary shelters and alarm systems in all unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. In these unrecognized villages, where tens of thousands of residents live, there are no means of protection whatsoever. Since the outbreak of the war on October 7, 2023, numerous missiles have struck these villages. Residents did not hear sirens prior to the missile strikes, and due to the lack of shelters or protection, 17 residents, including 6 children, were killed.
In our appeal, Attorney Abir Jubran emphasized that the absence of protection for the Bedouin population in the Negev from missile attacks severely infringes upon their basic rights to life, bodily integrity, and equality. We noted that the Association for Civil Rights in Israel appealed to the High Court of Justice in 2014, demanding solutions for protection in these Negev villages. Following this appeal, the Home Front Command presented a plan to improve the protection of the Bedouin population. However, the appeal was rejected in 2017 during a period of relative calm, with the court deciding not to intervene in the discretionary decisions of the competent authorities. Nevertheless, the court pointed out: "It is incumbent upon the professional elements in the Home Front Command to update the protection solutions in the periphery, a weakened region, as the threat assessment changes; and in their hands will be equality."
There is no doubt that given the current circumstances, the threat assessment has changed and necessitates renewed and different preparations for the protection of the Bedouin villages. Therefore, we demanded: the deployment and activation of alarms in unrecognized villages; the provision of shelter capacities in accordance with the number of residents in each village; the establishment of secure spaces in schools in the unrecognized villages; increased protection of "Iron Dome" and the deployment of "Iron Dome" near these villages; and the placement of temporary shelters and additional protection in recognized Bedouin villages, where there are insufficient secure spaces.
Association for Civil Rights in Israel's Appeal, October 13, 2023 (Hebrew).