The Israeli government is facing a dispute with the scattered population of 40-thousand Bedouin living in the inhospitable Negev Desert.
GV Bedouin on donkey
GV Bedouin working in field
LV & PAN Surrounding countryside with sheep
GV & PAN Bedouins with sheep and goats (2 shots)
GV People in bazaar (2 shots)
SV Woman carrying goods on head
SV Women sitting under umbrella
GV Bedouin buying fruit
GV Woman with bag on back
GV Demonstrators with sign and others talking (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators listening to man speaking in Arabic (2 shots)
CU & GV Demonstrators listening (2 shots)
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Background: The Israeli government is facing a dispute with the scattered population of 40-thousand Bedouin living in the inhospitable Negev Desert. Israeli bases in the Sinai are to be replaced by a new series of military outposts in the Negev. An airfield to be built at Tel Malhata will need land now used by an estimated eight thousand Bedouin.
SYNOPSIS: Although the number of tribesmen involved is small, it is an issue capable of whipping up high emotion. If the Bedouin are removed, a way of life will disappear which although primitive, symbolises the essential nature of the desert. The Bedouin families live in goatskin tents and huts, tending the herds of goats and other animals in almost impossible conditions.
There is no electricity, no running water, no sanitation. But at the same time, there is no enthusiasm to abandon the area under the present terms.
Recently-published compensation proposals have been criticised by supporters of the Bedouin. They say that the sums are much less than those paid to Jews who have had to vacate their settlements as a result of the changes in land boundaries with Egypt. The government intends to move the Bedouin into a series of industrialised villages. They say there is not enough water available to put the tribesmen into agricultural co-operatives as they have requested.
On Thursday (24 July) about three hundred leaders of affected families gathered at Tel Malhata to plan their protest action. They squatted in a large semi-circle as leaders spoke out angrily against the airfield plan. One of them said the next step in the action would be a march on Jerusalem. He said the Bedouin would do anything to keep their land.