Bedouin are considered an Arab ethnic group with a nomadic pastoral lifestyle. The Arabic word bedu
, from which the name "Bedouin" is derived, means “inhabitant of the desert”. Bedouin tribes dwell predominantly in the desert areas of the Sinai, the Negev and the Arabian Peninsula.
Negev Bedouins are a 186,000 minority living in southern Israel
and constitute around 12 percent of the country’s Arab population. These tribes are culturally distinct from the Bedouin of the Galilee living in northern Israel.
During and in the aftermath of the 1948 war, the Negev Bedouins either had to flee to Egypt and Jordan or were expelled and displaced because the Negev region was a major focus of the Israeli settlement
More recently, Israel forced Bedouin to settle down into seven urban townships (Rahat
, Ararat al-Naqab
, Shaqib al-Salam
and Tel al-Sabi
), however only half of the Bedouin population agreed to move into towns. The rest remains in the settlements in the "Enclosed Zone", which Israel considers illegal, permanently facing the threat of house demolitions
. Furthermore, access to public services such as electricity, water, infrastructure, education and health care is highly restricted in the Enclosed Zone.
The RCUV map
shows unrecognized Arab Bedouin villages in the Negev.