Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Rights in Israel, sent an urgent letter to Israeli authorities on June 1, 2017, protesting against the sealing off of an Arab Bedouin village in the country’s southern desert region.
Several days ago, Israeli authorities blocked off the only entrance to Umm Bidoun, an ‘unrecognized’ Bedouin village in the Naqab (Negev) desert, Adalah reported.
According to parents’ testimonies, the authorities installed a guardrail at the entrance to the one dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31, preventing access of all vehicular traffic – including school buses – to the village.
— Adalah (@AdalahEnglish) June 11, 2017
Some 100 children from Umm Bidoun study at three schools in the village of Al-Fura, located some 15 kilometers away. There are no educational facilities in Umm Bidoun, and so the village’s children have missed school during the past several days.
Adalah’s field researcher Marwan Abu Freih sent the urgent letter to Al-Qasoum Regional Council Education Director Nir Shmueli, to Education Ministry legal adviser Dorit Morag, and to Netivei Israel – National Transport Infrastructure Company Ltd., demanding that they remove the highway guardrail blocking access to the village.
— Adalah (@AdalahEnglish) June 6, 2017
Abu Freih noted that there is another exit from the village on the opposite side of Highway 31, but that a solid line has been painted on the highway that is forbidden for drivers to cross without incurring traffic violations.
“It is inconceivable that some 100 students can – in such a sudden and arbitrary manner – be prevented from attending school without any advance notice to or consultation with parents. Adalah and the families demand that the Education Ministry act immediately to correct this situation,” Abu Freih wrote.
(Adalah, PC, Social Media)