JNF: Bedouins shouldn’t hinder projects in Israel
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JNF: Bedouins shouldn’t hinder projects in Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish National Fund called for Israeli authorities to ensure that JNF’s projects in the Negev, which have been disrupted by Bedouin protesters, continue unimpeded.

A day after 15 Bedouins were arrested and two Bedouins and a police officer were injured during a demonstration Wednesday near Beersheba, JNF called the disruptions illegal and unacceptable. Bedouins were attempting to stop JNF workers from carrying out landscaping work.

Bedouins claim the land as theirs, but an Israeli court has ruled otherwise. JNF is planting a forest on the site.

"JNF-KKL has suffered loss of vehicles — three tractors have been burned — and a worker was tied up," JNF said of the disruptions. "These acts are illegal acts in any civilized, Western society — there is a due process of law — and anything short of that is unacceptable."

"Whether the Bedouin feel they have legitimate claims or not, it is a forest being planted on the site, a forest open to all that is being planted according to the National Master Plan for Afforestation," JNF told JTA. "JNF will continue to plant and do our historic work for the land and people of Israel."