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Knesset approves plan to recognize Bedouin settlement

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a plan to formalize the status of Bedouin settlement in the Negev.

The plan recommended by outgoing Likud Minister Benny Begin would officially recognize most Bedouin settlements in southern Israel and offer compensation to those Bedouin required to move off state-owned land. Compensation will be given in full either in land or money, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Bedouin being required to move have five years to accept the compensation.

As part of the plan, the government will invest some $322 million over the next five years to promote economic development and growth among Negev Bedouin, and to develop infrastructures in Bedouin communities.

"The goal of this historic decision is to put an end to the spread of illegal building by Negev Bedouin and lead to the better integration of the Bedouin into Israeli society," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office. 

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